New channels to launch on Sky and Now TV

30 January 2020   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature will launch in the Spring as part of Sky's entertainment channel expansion.

Both channels will be available to Sky TV customers at no extra cost and will also be included as part of Now TV's Entertainment Pass.

These channels will offer original and acquired content while also including a large library of on demand content.

It follows the launch of Sky Crime and Sky Comedy as Sky seek to offer customers more choice without increasing costs.

tv nature documentary

New channels

Although no specific launch dates have been confirmed, Sky say Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature will be available in the Spring.

Sky Documentaries will show factual programmes from HBO, SHOWTIME and others, along with original Sky commissions covering the spectrum of biographies, sport and controversies.

Documentaries already lined up include Tiger Woods: The Comeback; McMillions, HBO's documentary about the rigged McDonald's Monopoly game; and After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News.

Meanwhile, Sky Nature will feature original series and Love Nature programming, alongside Sky's existing David Attenborough collection.

Future nature programmes set for launch include Extreme Animals: One Wild Day and Amazing Animal Friends.

Compare Sky TV and Now TV in our dedicated guide.

Entertainment expansion

Sky cites the fact that factual programmes are now the second most popular genre with their customers, with only drama programming ahead of it.

These new channels are included within Sky's entertainment portfolio, meaning they're going to be released to Now TV customers with an Entertainment Pass as well as being accessible by Sky TV customers live and on demand.

In October 2019, Sky Crime was launched for Sky TV and Now TV customers, with the latest addition of Sky Comedy launching on Monday 27 January 2020.

It makes sense that Sky are simultaneously launching this content on their main TV platform and Now TV as they have pledged to make a version of Now TV available for free to all Sky subscribers in 2020.

Read our recently updated review of Now TV and our Sky TV review here.

Streaming competition

Sky's launch of four new channels containing original and acquired content under their own banner is a reminder the battle for streaming customers is becoming fiercer.

Traditional pay TV providers are integrating more on demand content in their services, with Sky releasing an Ultimate on Demand package and partnership with Netflix in 2018.

Virgin Media has also improved their app capabilities in recent months by bringing My5, Pluto TV and MTV Play to the user interface and therefore giving access to greater on demand content.

Several new streaming services have also launched, with Apple TV+ and BritBox emerging in November 2019 while Disney+ is set to arrive in the UK in March.

Against this backdrop, Netflix is struggling to adjust to the new crowded marketplace. They increased their subscription prices in May 2019 and further announced they were scrapping free trials for users in December 2019.

It's worth noting, however, that Now TV also increased the price of their Entertainment Pass from £7.99 to £8.99 per month.

The addition of four channels of extra content may mitigate that rise for many subscribers, but the streaming market is becoming expensive for customers and it can cost far more than a basic subscription to Sky TV to subscribe to the different streaming services that are now available.

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