Sky confirms massive shake-up for its NOW TV brand
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Sky is shaking up its NOW TV brand …by dropping the “TV”. Yes, in order to simplify the brand, the satellite telly firm has decided to rebrand its contract-free option as “NOW”. Of course, NOW TV has done more than telly for a while now, with customers able to order fibre broadband with a 12-month minimum contract. The rebrand not only involves a shorter name but also sees the Sky-owned company redesigning its iOS, Android, Smart TV and web apps with a new colour palette too. Oh, and NOW has ditched the word “Passes’ for its contract-free access to bundles of Sky channels, including Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, and more. Instead, these are now known as “NOW memberships”.
The rebrand was by NOW in an email to Express.co.uk this morning. Speaking about the change, Manager Director of NOW, Marina Storti said: “By moving from NOW TV to NOW, we marry our world-class quality with brilliant simplicity. This immediacy creates a true destination and community for those who love and live for the best entertainment.”
NOW’s shiny new lick of paint will be unveiled with a nationwide campaign that kickstarts on March 19, bringing to life the new look. The ‘Welcome to NOW’ campaign will run across TV and digital channels, so keep an eye out for that. As you’d expect, NOW’s broadband has adopted the new identity and membership model with a striking green gradient logo and NOW Membership Broadband plans – including Brilliant Broadband, Fab Fibre and Super Fibre.
As before, NOW still allows viewers to stream the latest shows, movies, and sport fixtures exclusively available on Sky TV …without the need to drill a satellite dish onto the side of their house. Instead, everything is delivered over a broadband connection. Access to bundles of channels can be bought on a month-to-month basis, with Sky Sports access also available for a 24-hour period too. Following the rebrand, viewers will need to pick a NOW Membership, instead of the NOW TV Passes branding used before. These will still breakdown into NOW Entertainment, NOW Cinema, NOW Sports, NOW Kids and hayu, starting at £3.99 a month.
Every NOW Membership can be enhanced with Boost from £3 a month – enabling streaming across 3 devices at the same time as well as full 1080p HD and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. NOW is available on video games consoles, like the Sony PS4, as well as iOS and Android smartphones, iPad, web browsers, and much more.
But if you haven’t got any compatible devices, NOW offers its own streaming gadgets, which leverage hardware and software developed by Roku.
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While these NOW streaming sticks don’t have quite the same library of apps and games as a Roku branded box, there are some crossovers. It also uses the same remote, which is easy to get to grips with and has some nice features, like voice search.
Despite a number of new Roku gadgets hitting the market in recent months, including the Roku Soundbar, which smuggles a streaming set-top box inside a soundbar to boost the audio during your next movie night-in, there are no signs of any of this new hardware coming to the NOW (née NOW TV) customers anytime soon.
Sky has previously announced plans to make its Sky Q service, which offers access to exclusive paid-for channels, sports and movies as well as streaming services like Disney+, Netflix and Prime Video from its set-top box, over an internet connection. This would allow customers who can’t install a satellite dish – like those in rented properties, not facing the right direction, and in tower blocks without a communal dish on the roof, to sign-up for Sky Q. Presumably, this would carry the same 18-month minimum contract, something that NOW doesn’t impose on viewers – who can subscribe for a single month, binge-watch a boxset, and then walk away.
However, aside from the contract length, it would mean there is much less distinction between Sky Q and NOW. Perhaps this latest rebrand anticipates that and paves the way for NOW to offer much more than fibre broadband and telly? We’ll have to wait and see.
The news comes as Sky Q announced a price rise for millions of customers across the UK.
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