More New Features for Sky Q

Sky has unveiled another raft of new features for its Sky Q platform, which combines satellite TV with on-demand and catch-up services.

Notable features include movies in high-dynamic range (HDR), which offers better picture quality.

Viewers will now be able to watch recordings, on demand content and access apps when satellite signal is lost due to adverse weather conditions.

There are also more commands which can be used with the voice search function, including “Made for Laughter lovers” which searches for comedy programmes.

Premiere League Scraps PPV

The English Premier League has scrapped the pay per view (PPV) set up for additional football matches that would not otherwise be shown on TV, but are being made available due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most additional matches will now be shown on Sky Sports or BT Sport. A notable exception is Fulham v Everton which will be shown on the BBC, and will kick-off at 12pm on the 22nd of November.

The PPV service was criticised for being too expensive. Some clubs also criticised the cost, with Newcastle United suggesting a much lower £4.99 per match fee.

The situation will be reviewed in the new year, and highlights will continue to be available on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme.

Note: This story now falls outside of the scope for news articles on All About Digital TV, but has been included as a continuation of previous stories.

DPlay becomes Discovery+

Dplay, the catch-up service for Discovery’s free-to-air channels, will soon expand and become Discovery+.

Existing content remains free (ad-supported), with a new subscription tier added to allow live streaming and on-demand content for Discovery’s pay TV channels. The subscription will start at £29.99 per year for a limited time, rising to £49.99 (UK prices). A monthly option a £4.99 is also available.

Sky Q customers will get the service for 12 months at no extra cost, after which customers can have the service added directly to their Sky subscription.

Roll out is expected to start in November (2020), and the service will be available to both the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Netflix Removes Free Trial Offer

Netflix is no longer offering 30 day free trials, meaning customers wishing to try the service now need to pay.

No other aspects of the pricing structure have changed, and customers can still take advantage of Netflix’s offer, without contracts, cancellation fees, or commitments.

The move affects the UK and the US, although free trials are still available in other countries, including Austria, Croatia, and Cyprus.

Additional Premier League Games Pay Per View

It has now been confirmed that all Premiere League fixtures until the end of October will be available to watch, with five games a week available in a pay per view basis.

Existing arrangements and match selections with BT Sport and Sky Sports will remain in place. The matches not already selected for broadcast will be made available on the BT Sport Box Office and Sky Sports Box Office platforms.

This interim solution has been agreed by clubs, but does mean that there will be no more free to air live matches for the immediate future, although the BBC continues to show highlights.

Another Crackdown on Pirate Content

There has been another crackdown on illegally stream premium TV content, with Police Scotland, Trading Standards Scotland, and the City of London Police carrying out a joint operation.

A distributor based in West Scotland is believed to have provided content to dozens of separate illegal streaming services, who in turn provided this content to their subscribers.

Two properties were searched, with multiple devices seized, disrupting access to the illegal streams.

Sky Q Gains Netflix in HDR

Netflix shows in HDR (high dymanic range) quality can now be found on Sky Q, joining a growing collection of HDR content.

HDR content includes some Sky Nature shows, alongside other Sky originals including Cobra and Save Me Too. Subscribers to Disney + have access to Disney content in HDR.

The Secret Garden is the first Sky Cinema original film to be made available in HDR. Live sport in HDR is also expected next year (2021).

Simpons Season 31 to Premiere on Disney+

Now owned by Disney, the 31st season of The Simpsons will premiere on subscription streaming service Disney +.

22 episodes will be available in the UK and Ireland from 6th November (2020).  All previous episodes and The Simpson Movie are already available on the platform.

Launched in 1989, The Simpsons is the longest running scripted prime-time show in television history.

Dugout Reveals Sharp Rise in Women’s Football Views

Digital media company Dugout has revealed a significant increase in number of views of women’s football videos.

Over the last 12 months, views have increased by 700%, with the leading players such as Arsenal’s Beth Mead and Chelsea’s Sam Kerr among those seeing the highest levels of views.

The figures reflect the growing interest in women’s football.

New Digital Rental Chart Launches

The Official Charts Company has launched a new digital rental chart. Based on data from digital retailers, the new service is monthly chart of video on demand shows and programmes.

Amazon, Apple, Rakuten, Sky Store, and TalkTalk TV are among the retailers providing data for the chart, which delivers a view of consumer engagement with video on demand streaming services.

Called the Official Film Rental Chart, the new chart will be published in the middle of each month, starting with this October (2020).