The BBC has struck a deal with Sky to integrate iPlayer into the firm’s pay TV platform in the corporation’s latest attempt to bolster its on-demand offering.
The partnership will allow Sky Q customers to access the iPlayer app by pressing the red button when watching a BBC channel.
While BBC programmes have long been available on Sky through its integrated catch-up service, the collaboration will give prominence to the broadcaster’s own branding and place its app alongside streaming rival Netflix.
The deal will also extend access to the full range of BBC shows, including David Attenborough’s Seven Worlds, One Planet, and will allow Sky customers to watch children’s content from CBBC and Cbeebies
The broadcasters said they were exploring a range of other potential tie-ups, including bringing BBC Sounds to Sky and Now TV.
It marks the latest attempt by traditional broadcasters to join forces amid growing competition from streaming rivals.
The BBC won permission to extend its catch-up window on iPlayer from 30 days to a year, and has promised a wider overhaul of the platform next year.
Media analyst Paolo Pescatore described the deal with Sky as a “sign of the times”.
“It builds upon Sky’s approach to aggregate a wide range of services,” he said. “More importantly, it further opens up the BBC in its quest to break down the barriers to adoption of its services on other platforms.”
As part of the arrangement, the BBC is looking to use Promosmart, part of Sky’s Adsmart technology, to deliver more personalised content to BBC viewers. This could mean that different households are shown trailers for different BBC shows in ad breaks during live viewing.
In September Channel 4 signed a deal to use Adsmart to deliver targeted advertising, meaning ITV is the only public service broadcaster yet to announce a tie-up with Sky.
Stephen van Rooyen, chief executive of Sky UK & Ireland, said: “We are pleased to be working with the BBC on such a broad-ranging partnership – it is a great example of how UK broadcasters can work together for the benefit of viewers and the industry.
“We are continuing to explore, together with the BBC, how it could use Sky’s innovative technology to help it better connect with licence-fee payers for the long term.”
Bob Shennan, BBC group managing director, said: “This agreement shows how the BBC and Sky can work together to give audiences the very best experience and support a strong UK media industry, and we look forward to continuing this relationship.”
Main image credit: BBC