Sky Hikes Entertainment Sub, Adds SoHo

Sky’s Entertainment package will include the SoHo channel from October but the monthly subscription will jump $2.50 to $28.

At the same time, Sky says it’s reducing the sub for its Movies package. While this is more akin to a rounding down, from $20.93 a month to $20, at least it’s not another rise.

The last sub shock for satellite customers was in March: an extra $3 a month for Sky Sport (to $37.99). At the same time, the monthly cost of streaming service Sky Sport Now leapt by $5 to $44.99.

No word yet on when Neon subscribers will be next; the last rise for the entertainment platform was just over a year ago.

Clearly Sky is trying to soften the Entertainment hike by bundling SoHo, previously a stand-alone channel for which subscribers were charged separately ($10 a month, unless they also opted for the Movies or Sports package).

That makes sense regardless of the motivation given SoHo is not the premium option it used to be, with the programming losing its lustre amid stronger competition from global streaming services and Sky losing titles or exclusivity because of their rise.

Even so, it still only replaces the National Geographic channel, which is now a Disney+ staple, and Sky doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to add HD channels (or upgrade news channels, key FTA options like Duke or Whakaata Māori, or History to HD).

Of course, it argues the new sub reflects the rise in programming costs for “premium entertainment shows” in the four years since the last Entertainment increase.

So why isn’t the same true of the Movies package? Because of competition from so many other platforms offering the same content whereas much of its Entertainment fare remains exclusive to Sky.

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