Sky Is Said to Plan High-Speed Broadband Service for Italy

Sky Is Said to Plan High-Speed Broadband Service for Italy

Foto: Shutterstock

Sky plans to add a high-speed broadband service in Italy to its premium content packages, seeking to shake up a market dominated by Telecom Italia, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.

The European pay-TV company is in talks to partner with wholesale network operator Open Fiber for the service, said the people, who asked not to be named. A deal may be reached in October and Sky could start the new offer, similar to what the broadcaster has in the U.K., as early as the first quarter of next year. Open Fiber is a joint venture between utility Enel and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

Broadband has helped Sky add customers and revenue in the U.K. by selling internet access packaged with phone service, and entertainment like sports, TV series and movies. An alliance with Open Fiber would let Sky do the same Italy, while countering a planned push into content by broadband leader Telecom Italia.

Sky, facing rising costs for premium sports content like Premier League soccer and competition for viewers from Netflix and Amazon, has pushed aggressively into Internet service in the U.K. The company reported more than 6 million broadband customers across the U.K. and Ireland in January, and said last month that 27 percent of those subscribers are using fiber connections.

A similar development in Italy would be a clear threat to Telecom Italia, which like many of its European peers is adding content such as sports to boost monthly bills and retain customers. Telecom Italia is discussing creating a pay-TV channel in Italy with Vivendi’s Canal Plus, people familiar with the matter said last month. Paris-based Vivendi, Telecom Italia’s largest shareholder, is trying to build a Southern European content hub using its stake in the former phone monopoly.

Currently, Telecom Italia offers its broadband customers content from Sky, Italy’s pay-TV leader. Sky has similar marketing partnerships with other broadband providers in Italy, including Vodafone and Fastweb, a unit of Swisscom. Sky, which is being acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, has also delved into the U.K. wireless market, starting a mobile-phone service using Telefonica’s O2 network last November.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, Sky Italia reported revenue of 2.46 billion pounds and operating profit of 136 million pounds. Sky has about 4.8 million subscribers in Italy. Its pay-TV rivals in Italy include Mediaset’s pay-TV business Mediaset Premium.

More from category

MWC 2018: Qualcomm and Huawei Showcase 3GPP 5G Interoperability

MWC 2018: Qualcomm and Huawei Showcase 3GPP 5G Interoperability

24 Feb 2018 comment

Qualcomm and Huawei announced that they have successfully completed 5G NR Interoperability and Development Testing (IODT) based on the 3GPP Release 15 global standard.

MWC 2018: LG Will Unveil New K8 and K10 Series Smartphones

MWC 2018: LG Will Unveil New K8 and K10 Series Smartphones

24 Feb 2018 comment

LG will unveil the 2018 edition of its popular K8 and K10 mass-tier smartphones at MWC 2018, enhanced with even more premium features rivaling those of premium flagships.

Research Platform for 5G in an Industrial Environment in Hamburg

Research Platform for 5G in an Industrial Environment in Hamburg

23 Feb 2018 comment

The testing of 5G is beginning at the Port of Hamburg. After six months of preparations, the project partners Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), Deutsche Telekom and Nokia have commissioned a test area spanning around 8000 hectares of the port area.