Sky to launch on-demand internet rival to Netflix, LoveFilm and YouView

The online service will be aimed at non-pay TV subscribers and is set to offer film, entertainment and sports coverage

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Following the UK launch of film and TV streaming service Netflix, and the ongoing success of Amazon’s LoveFilm, Sky is to enter the internet television fray with an offering of its own.

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Set to launch during the first half of this year, the service will enable customers to download films without a contract or a satellite dish, with access to Sky Sports and its entertainment channels to follow soon afterwards.

The Sky service looks likely to appear around the same time as YouView, the on-demand collaboration between BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT, Arqiva and Talk Talk, but Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch said he was not worried about an increasingly crowded marketplace.

“I don’t see it threatening our business at all. It’s further evidence that this is an exciting market and lots of people see opportunities in it.

“We have competed in the last few decades against all competitors.”

The streaming and download service will be aimed at the 13 million UK households not currently subscribing to pay TV and will allow users to purchase monthly subscriptions or watch films and TV on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Content will be available to view via internet-connected TVs, PCs, laptops, games consoles and mobile devices such as smartphones.

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The news comes after yesterday’s announcement that Sky is to add BBC iPlayer and ITV Player catch-up services to its Sky Anytime+ on-demand offering – and as new subscriptions to its existing services are slowing down.