What Comcast's purchase of Sky means for the future of the pay-TV platform

Riviera (Credit: Sky)

It’s official. Sky, the leading pay-TV platform in the UK, is no longer a Murdoch company. The man most closely identified with the launch and development of the film and footie satellite giant, Rupert Murdoch, signalled his departure late last year, when his 21st Century Fox media behemoth agreed to sell most of its pay-TV and Hollywood studio assets, including a 39% stake in Sky, to Disney for $71bn.

Fox clearly preferred the Mouse to a competing approach from US cable and broadcast combo Comcast.

Could subscription on-demand services spell the end for pay-TV?

Later this month, NBC­Universal will launch Hayu, a new subscription online video service devoted to reality television shows, such as The Real Housewives franchise and Don’t Tell the Bride. It follows hard on the heels of Seeso, another subscription video on-demand (SVoD) offering from NBCU, but this time devoted to comedy and entertainment shows, ranging from Saturday Night Live to Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  

BT launches AMC UK channel

Pay-TV platform BT TV is hoping that an unfolding zombie apocalypse will help it bite out a bigger share of a competitive UK market dominated by Sky. Fear the Walking Dead, the much-­anticipated spin-off show of US flesh-­eating drama the Walking Dead, is airing exclusively on BT TV as the flagship drama for the first AMC-branded channel in the UK.

It is part of a wider deal struck in June between US cable operator AMC Networks and BT TV.