Sky Movies deal pushes TV rivals closer together

 
Oliver Smith
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ref="http://www.cityam.com/company/bt-group">BT FINALLY inked a deal with Sky yesterday to show its premium Sky Movies channels on BT’s TV packages following three years of negotiations.

Though talks between the media giants to allow Sky Sports content across all of BT’s TV offerings remain ongoing, the Sky Movies deal could indicate Sky is more willing to negotiate on wholesale agreements.

The deal suggests Sky realises it is never going to have 100 per cent of households taking its content directly, according to JP Morgan analyst Carl Murdock-Smith.

“We think negotiating a further wholesale deal with BT may be seen by regulators or courts as further evidence that (further) regulated wholesale agreements in relation to Sky’s sport and movies channels are not required,” he said.

Yesterday’s movie deal adds 11 Sky Movies channels to BT’s YouView, Broadband and Infinity television packages for a monthly fee.

“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Sky to enable our TV customers to enjoy Sky Movies and its superb offering of films for every taste, including the latest blockbusters. We believe this gives a tremendous boost to our BT TV film offering,” said BT TV director Alex Green.

The multi-year contract between the two groups will launch for consumers on 26 October, BT has yet to announce pricing for the Sky Movies channels. “In helping even more UK homes enjoy Sky Movies this agreement also supports our wholesale content business,” said Sky commercial group director Rob Webster.