iSky

The Dom Post reports:

Sky Television chief executive John Fellet says he hopes Sky can persuade at least three or four internet providers not to charge customers to download programmes and movies from its soon-to-be-launched internet television service, iSky.

If Sky makes the material available on servers which are open for peering, then that should allow NZ ISPs to exempt them from data caps.

Mr Fellet revealed a few more details of the service, which he said would launch in mid-November and would be free to Sky customers who had signed up to the equivalent pay-TV channels.

Sky will stream three sports channels and a selection of news channels. Subscribers will also be able to download 200 movies to watch at any time from a catalogue that will change each month, and catch up on movies and many programmes they may have missed on Prime and other “basic” Sky channels.

Great, I look forward to this.

One industry source said iSky put internet providers in a quandary. Sky was being “hard-nosed” and there was little in it collectively for internet providers to offer iSky unmetered, though some ISPs might steal a march on rivals by doing so, given Sky’s hold over key broadcast content.

Vodafone and Orcon are among those believed to be considering letting customers access iSky without that contributing to their monthly broadband data caps. Orcon spokesman Duncan Blair confirmed it was in discussions.

Vodafone doing so, would help keep me as a customer. Their e-mail quality has been crap lately, so we need some sweeteners!

Sky has this time spent about $4m so it can host the content on its own computers in New Zealand. That means internet providers will not need to pay for capacity on the Southern Cross cable to serve up programmes to customers, making the option of unmetered downloads more viable.

Mr Fellet said that, initially, Sky would only directly profit from iSky by also serving up pay-per-view movies for viewing on computers. It would not sell its “adult” pay-per-view programmes online, at least at first, he said. That business was “slowly dying anyway” as a result of the preponderance of free pornography on the internet.

No wonder the Ministerial credit card expenses have been dropping 🙂

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