Good news for Sky Anytime+ users this month, and for this who would like to get it but don’t have Sky broadband, as changes to the service announced at the end of January start to take effect. These include a better range of ITV and BBC content on demand, access to the service through other broadband providers and the arrival of something that up until now has given Virgin and BT a killer edge, the BBC iPlayer.
Thanks to an improved deal with ITV there is already new content from the channel in the main Sky Anytime+ menu including Cold Feet, Lewis and Prime Suspect. There’s a dedicated ITV Player section too but the amount of programmes available will increase later in the year.
The deal with the BBC is perhaps more exciting as the hugely popular iPlayer service has not been available on Sky TV up to now, which always feels like a big disadvantage against their competitors Virgin Media and BT Vision. The iPlayer will be arriving later in the year, no date given yet, but in the meantime there is a selection of archive BBC programmes on Anytime+ including some Doctor Who, Outnumbered and Top Gear.
Anytime+ is currently available free to anyone with Sky TV and Sky broadband as part of all bundled Sky TV packages and is being used by around a million households. Popularity is growing too as Sky have seen weekly usage figures rise by 80% in the last quarter of 2011, and the decision to now open it up to Sky TV customers with any broadband connection will mean over 5 million more homes in the UK will be able to access it.
What you can watch on Anytime+ depends on your Sky TV subscription both in terms of the main package you have – Entertainment or Entertainment Extra – and any added premium channels. So if you have Entertainment with Sky Movies as a add-on you can watch on demand content from any of the 50 or so channels in Entertainment and archived Sky Movies, but not for example the Sky Sports content. It’s not just Sky content on demand but a lot of programmes from the partner channels, including MTV, Discovery, FX, History, Disney, UK TV and National Geographic Channel.
For more general info see the Sky Anytime+ page or click on the button below to read more on the Sky site…