Sky puts Fanpass on Apple TV

Won't hurt merger prospects.

Sky TV has made good on its promise to put its Fanpass service on Apple TV, which began life as an invitation-only service but is now open to all-comers who are willing to spend a modest sum to put an iPhone or iPad app.

Fanpass lets you watch Sky Sports channels 1 through 4 on a day ($15), week ($20) or month ($53) pass, no Sky TV contract required.

For newbies to streaming, Apple TV is a small widget that makes it easy to watch broadband-delivered content on your regular television without having to faff around with streaming from a laptop or tablet, or attaching cables.

Like Spark's Lightbox and TV3’s 3Now app (both already on Apple TV), Fanpass is only available for Apple TV 4 users, not those with earlier models.

Sky also has an Apple TV app on the way for Neon, its Netflix clone.

Unlike Sky Go, which is managed by Sky TV inhouse and only available to Sky TV subscribers, the no-contract Fanpass is outsourced to New York-based NeuLion.

The Fanpass Apple TV app has been waiting for Apple approval for several weeks. It’s happy timing that it’s gone live this week as foes to Sky’s merger with Vodafone release their submissions to the Commerce Commission – as it underlines Sky’s step-change that has seen it unbundle major sports content.

Fanpass is far from perfect. Its on-demand options are thin compared to similar services overseas and it doesn’t include the pop-up sports channels that Sky adds around major events. And now Sky has added a sly $1 surcharge for those who connect to it via Apple TV. But it’s a good start and dibs to Sky for giving non-subscribers access to its crown jewels. 

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