Sky Launches Yet Another Sports Channel in HD

While viewers of Sky’s entertainment and factual channels continue to endure sub-standard definition feeds, the satcaster today added a sixth HD sports channel.

And unlike Sky’s only HD entertainment channel, SoHo, which costs subscribers an extra $10 a month, ESPN2 will be available to all sport subscribers at no extra charge from September 1.

It will offer more UEFA Champions League, NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball and ATP World Tour matches, and extra news and information programming.  

As the press release trumpets, “ESPN2 will provide extra value to Sky Sport subscribers, who now have access to six dedicated channels as well as a Sky Sport mosaic.”

Those who subscribe to Sky for reasons other than sport, meanwhile, are expected to put up with lousy SD coverage of dramas, comedies and documentaries — which is outrageous enough for the basic tier channels but inexcusable for Sky Arts and Rialto which, like SoHo, cost a premium to receive.

You would have thought revamping its arts channel with fantastic new programming would have been an ideal opportunity to spruce it up in HD.

But a Sky spokesperson told “At this point in time the Arts channel has no plans to go HD.

“The key reason is the limited bandwidth we have available right now. There is also significant cost with hardware/content/bandwidth.”

It’s not clear if ESPN2’s launch will relegate pending sci-fi channel The Zone to SD status but it certainly seems to dash any hope of Prime going HD within the next year.

Sky also announced today that ESPN2 and The Zone would be among the channels it’s adding to its Sky Go service.

ESPN, ESPN2, SKY Movies Extra, BBC Knowledge and CNN will be available on Sky Go from 11 August (customers can watch the channels they already subscribe to at no extra cost to their subscription); and The Zone from November.

Already on the service are Sky Sport 1, 2, 3 and 4, ESPN,  Movies Premiere, E!, UKTV, Cartoon Network, National Geographic and BBC World News.

Sky will also make the app available to more devices from August 11, including select mobile phones and tablets from Apple, Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC.

“Since its November 2013 launch, Sky Go has been downloaded by more than 168,000 Sky customers and we are delighted to be adding another five channels to our very popular streaming service,” Sky senior product manager Alex Winter says.

“Kiwis have told us how much they enjoy accessing content on the go – that’s why we’re planning for even more channels to be screening on Sky Go by the end of the year.”

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One Response to “Sky Launches Yet Another Sports Channel in HD”

  1. Sky adds another nail in the coffin for leaving their crap and expensive service. Lightbox is looking better by the day.

    I don’t pay for the sports channels, so like you point out in the article it is frustrating that sports only seems gets the attention from Sky and the extra we have to pay for the good non-sport channels. And we all end up paying for these extra HD sports channels with an increase in the basic price surely to come soon like it often has in the past when new or HD sports channels are added.

    And the people I know who do have the sports channels find that apart from the weekends, they don’t watch them.

    I was recently in Australia and finally got to see the choice of channels on Austel/Foxtel, and couldn’t believe all the extra NatGeo, Discovery, and other channels they have access too. And the 2+ hour repeat channels are fantastic.

    Death to Sky! #SkySucks

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