Half of Sky TV Users Connect On Demand Sky+HD Box to Broadband - ISPreview UK
The growing importance of fast Internet access in the delivery of modern television content has been highlighted again after Sky (Sky Broadband) revealed that 50% of their 10.6 million TV customers in the United Kingdom had connected their Sky+HD set-top-box to broadband in order to benefit from on-demand and catch-up-tv content.

Unsurprisingly Sky notes that data traffic connected to On Demand downloads via its Sky+HD boxes has also increased three-fold over the last 12 months and, in the most recent quarter, On Demand viewing accounted for more than 5% of viewing in so-called “connected homes“.

The news follows last year’s launch of Sky’s “big push” to improve take-up and usage of connected TV services, which many also saw as being a response to the rising uptake of similar solutions from Virgin Media (e.g. TiVo) and the YouView (IPTV) platform (mostly by BT and TalkTalk’s customers); not to mention online video streaming services like Netflix.

Sky has also launched its own affordable online-only video streaming service called NOW TV, although this has faced some problems with rights restrictions (here) and network congestion (here) during big sporting and TV events. Not to mention that recent 40% price hike scare, which has since been put on-hold (here).
Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s CEO, said:

Our job is to offer customers the best possible TV experience, making sure that they can watch what they want, when they want, wherever they want. We aim to put Sky at the heart of the ‘digitally connected household’ – to meet customers’ growing desire to consume content on their terms.

We see a widening and growing opportunity for Sky. Our market is opening up, getting bigger and broader. By innovating across different platforms, and adopting new technologies, we can create more ways to reach more customers than ever before
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It’s clear that television is no longer confined to a single display in the living room and this is largely thanks to the fact that broadband connections are slowly but surely catching-up by becoming capable enough (i.e. faster and with greater adoption of “unlimited” usage allowances) to deliver TV and Movies via a range of new devices and methods.

Similarly broadcasters and Rights Holders are becoming increasingly adapt at distributing their content, even if that does sometimes mean that those who take the broadband-only route might find themselves having to pay for several subscriptions in order to get all of the content they really want. The traditional TV model isn’t so much dying out as finding new ways of reaching different platforms and doing so more dynamically.

Consumers might grumble when the price of their line rental and or broadband service rises each year, often above the level of inflation, but given the prevalence of unlimited usage models and rising data demands from online video it’s perhaps not so unexpected.