Update: Since late 2016, Sky have moved to make Sky Q the standard system for all new and upgrading Sky customers, completely replacing the Sky+ HD box. They’ve also moved to simplify their pricing structures for those who call Sky, thanks to a great deal of public feedback.
There’s no pretending that the war between BT Sport and Sky Sports is a very real thing. Ever since BT Sport launched off the back of a surprise purchase of Premier League football rights, it’s been all out war to gather up the rights for as many sports as possible. On the Sky side, they’ve locked down cricket, tennis and golf broadcasts for a number of years, alongside Spanish La Liga football and many others. For BT, it’s meant scooping up FA cup action, Europa League and Champions League football, amongst countless other sports.
2015 was a huge year for Sky’s TV efforts. Backed by a war chest of £600 million in funding for new programming, the combined forces of Sky’s entertainment channels have been at work commissioning bold new series like The Last Panthers and Fortitude, alongside bringing great programmes from overseas like The Muppets, Game of Thrones and Dag. Needless to say, it was a year that saw Sky go from TV service to creator of some of the UK’s most loved and talked about TV programmes. That shift was far from accidental, and as we move into 2016, it’s something that Sky are looking to keep up, especially as Virgin Media come nipping at their heels with the launch of their AMC channel.
As we approach 2016, we’re nearing the 14 year anniversary of Sky’s groundbreaking Sky+ box. At its launch, it offered something that no over pay-TV service could – the ability to record and manipulate live TV. That, alongside Sky’s superior film and sport offerings made it a compelling option, and now, almost 14 years later there isn’t a TV offering on the market which doesn’t offer those features. Indeed, Sky+ remains the flagship TV service in spite of competition. Put simply, it really did change the game.