iPlayer will be made available as an app on Sky Q, putting it in the same company as Netflix on Sky’s internet-connected television platform. Sky Q will also host the BBC’s connected red-button service.
iPlayer is not new to Sky Q. It has been available as an integrated catch-up service, meaning it is surrounded by Sky branding and does not offer the full breadth of content available on iPlayer through other platforms.
By launching as an app, Sky Q users should get full iPlayer functionality at a time when the streaming service is extending its catch-up window from 30 days to 12 months, and getting a design refresh.
Beyond the iPlayer arrangement, the BBC is also going to make shows from its children’s channels, CBBC and CBeebies, available as box-sets on the Kids section of Sky Q. This will include programs like The Dumping Ground and Topsy & Tim. Sky and the BBC will also explore putting radio and podcast app, BBC Sounds, on Sky Q, where it would sit alongside Spotify.
Finally, the BBC is interested in testing PromoSmart, which is underpinned by Sky’s AdSmart technology. It would use viewing data gathered from Sky boxes to target audiences with tailored trailers for BBC shows. So, fo example, people keen on wildlife shows — like Seven Worlds, One Planet — would see more trailers for similar BBC programs.
Stephen van Rooyen, Sky’s CEO in the UK and Ireland, said: “We are pleased to be working with the BBC on such a broad-ranging partnership — it is a great example of how UK broadcasters can work together for the benefit of viewers and the industry.”
BBC group managing director Bob Shennan added: “This agreement shows how the BBC and Sky can work together to give audiences the very best experience and support a strong UK media industry, and we look forward to continuing this relationship.”
Sky’s agreement with the BBC follows the Comcast-owned broadcast extending its content partnership with Channel 4 in September. This gives Channel 4 continued access to Formula 1 races and highlights, while Sky will bring its customers more Channel 4 shows on-demand.
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