Everyone but Telecom: Sky TV names iSky partners

Sky TV has named the line-up of internet service providers who will offer unmetered data for its coming iSky broadband service.

READ ALSO: Apple TV ships for NZ; Sony NZ considers Google TV

"Unmetered" means on-demand movie and TV programme downloads via broadband will not count toward a user's monthly data cap.

 iSky is scheduled to launch later on an un-named date later this year.

Everyone but Telecom & TelstraClear
The ISP partners are, essentially, all the major players bar Telecom, (which remains the exclusive retailer and unmetered data partner for one of iSky's rivals, the one-third TVNZ-owned TiVo, home to the Caspa download service).

TelstraClear is also off the list but most of the content for the company's newly launched T-Box is supplied by Sky TV and it's quite on the cards that the T-Box's yet-to-be-enabled movie download service will crossover with iSky.

Sky TV's iSky partners are:

- Vodafone
- Slingshot (the retail arm of CallPlus)
- Orcon
- Woosh
- Xnet and
- Farmside

Orcon, which is part of the state-owned broadcast and telecommunications infrastructure company Kordia, has also been awarded the contract to create a system for serving up iSky content to all partners.

Sky TV chief executive John Fellet has told NBR his company is willing to partner with any ISP that will offer his customers unmetered data for iSky.

At what cost?
While all the ISP partners have pledged to launch unmetered plans, Forsyth Barr analyst Rob Mercer notes that iSky's success will depend on the cost of those un-capped plans.

Will ISPs charge a premium for a plan that offers all-you-can-eat data (at least where iSky downloads are concerned)?
 
Vodafone has been first off the rank in this department, stating this afternoon that it will offer unmetered iSky.  "It will simply be added to your current broadband plan as it stands," spokesman Matt East told NBR.
 
Different levels of access
Mr Mercer, who has a buy rating on Sky TV, reiterated his buy rating this week, and said he expects the company to increase its dividend. 
 
The analyst said the level of access to iSky content would vary depending on a customer's level of subscription.
 
Only multi-room subscribers would get access to all iSky content.

The three live streamed iSky Sports channels would probably only available to multi-room subscribers, Mr Mercer said.

Movie-Tier Subscribers will get the ability to view 100 different movie titles, which are scheduled on the Sky Movies tier, although again this may be also be restricted to only multi-room subscribers.

All subscribers will be able to catch up on 10-20 programmes on each key Basic Channel and Prime.

And all will be able to rent movies and TV series – 600 on launch with 5000 titles promised within a year.

Sky TV shares (NZX: SKT) were down 0.39% to $5.07 in late trading. They have a 52-week range of $4.51 to $5.40.

TiVo struggling to find ISP partners beyond Telecom
Robbee Minicola, chief executive of TiVo owner Hybrid, was recently in New Zealand in a bid to drum up ISP partners beyond Telecom (in Australia, TiVo has multiple unmetered data partners).

But so far, the trip seems unsuccessful.

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