Sky Ditches HD Fee and Will Add 10 HD Channels


At last Sky is dumping its HD Ticket of $10 a month and opening up HD access to all subscribers.

It’s a belated concession to the rest of the pay-TV world gradually going 4K and coincides with Sky soon to increase its number of HD channels from more than 20 to 30-plus.

Sky has yet to reveal its 4K strategy but expect any savings from not paying an HD Ticket to be usurped by the cost of a 4K premium tier.

Already some of the savings will be swallowed up by Sky raising the cost of its starter, entertainment and sports tiers (although the satcaster says the average increase will be 1.9%).

Still, the changes are to be applauded and hopefully most of the extra channels will be in the entertainment, news and documentary genres, where subscribers to these services have long subsidised the HD sport and movie services.

Here’s the full press release:

SKY TV TO REMOVE HD FEE, MAKE HD AVAILABLE TO ALL CUSTOMERS

Sky TV is dropping the fee that customers have previously had to pay to access Sky’s entertainment, sport and movies in High Definition (HD).

The change will come into effect on 1 April, with customers who pay the $9.99 per month charge seeing a decrease in their subscription price.  The move also enables all of Skys customers to access the HD content in their subscription at no extra cost.  It is part of pricing changes announced at Sky’s Interim Results.

Sky TV CEO John Fellet says: “We believe complementary HD will be a welcomed added value service for our customers. It will sit nicely alongside our other added value services including Sky Go, Sky On Demand, the Sky Perks App, EPG App and Sky Sport Highlights App.”

HD offers viewers a far superior viewing experience that’s much more vivid than standard definition.

“It comes at a great time – before the latest season of Game of Thrones and top sport like golf, cricket, league, netball and rugby,” Fellett says.

“Sky currently has more than 20 channels that offer content in HD, and over the next few months we’ll be making more of our channels HD for our customers to enjoy.”

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5 Responses to “Sky Ditches HD Fee and Will Add 10 HD Channels”

  1. YAY, that’s wonderful news although at the moment I have got my Sky on hold. I wonder what channels will be turned into HD? I also think it’s about time Skyhad LIVE concerts included on Sky Arena instead of boring sports 🙂

  2. I appreciate Sky have some overheads with increased satellite bandwidth with HD but in the scheme of things surely it should have been marketed as a value-add to compatible set top boxes given it’s broadcast anyway rather than another cash grab from the subscriber? It reminds me a lot of early Telecom Mobile when they charged extra for caller ID being a monopoly and because they could. Bell South launched with free caller ID from day one and suddenly Telecom found that yes they could actually waive that fee too.Meanwhile, Spark Sport will be streaming in HD at no extra charge as will the selected joint TVNZ crossover broadcasts such as the Australian Grand Prix simulcast on Duke in HD, which will be great!

  3. I also wonder if one of those 10 channels to be upgraded to HD will be Prime on terrestrial Freeview?!?!? It’s a major TV channel broadcast in 2019 that does have quite a bit of quality programming that Sky will be paying a fair bit for the broadcast rights yet looks sub-standard in SD. I did watch the edited Go South rail journey and I’m sure it would have looked amazing in HD. Pity all the floating titles and descriptions they had over the scenery looked soft.

  4. Isn’t it about time that Rialto and UKTV were HD rather than just the premium channels? That’s the advantage of Sky’s competitors: no HD restrictions, you’re only bound by your Internet connection.

  5. I agree with Mr Blonde. With Sky’s premise that HD needn’t cost any more to watch, there can be no further argument against upgrading the FTA signal of Prime.

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