Sky has announced it’s rebranding and improving on the current Sky Movies offering with the launch of Sky Cinema on the 8th of July 2016.
Sky Cinema customers will have access to a new movie premiere every day, an even bigger library of on-demand films, more pop-up channels as well as better HD pictures – including Ultra HD - and sound quality, which is excellent news. What’s more, it won’t add any extra cost for both existing and new subscribers and HD will now be offered as standard to all Sky Cinema customers on the Sky and Virgin Media platforms.
Sky Cinema is set to be the biggest dedicated movie subscription service in Europe as Sky’s movie services in Germany, Austria and Italy are also rebranded and relaunched under the new name.
Millions of Sky Movies customers, who use the service on Sky, via the NOW TV monthly movies pass, or through platforms like BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, can expect a new premiere every single day of the week; that’s a 75% increase on the four per week currently offered by Sky Movies.
SPECTRE (8 July), Mission Impossible: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (9 July), Steve Jobs (18 September), Bridge of Spies (30 September) and The Danish Girl (23rd October) will all premiere in the first few months alone. The Jungle Book, Zootopia and Captain America: Civil War are set to headline Sky’s most ambitious Christmas movie collection yet.
Major films are available just 8 months after cinema release, and can be watched exclusively on Sky Cinema for over a year before you can watch them on any other subscription service. 45 of the top 50 films at the UK Box Office in 2015 are exclusive to Sky Movies.
It’s not only about blockbusters; customers will also get a dedicated new ‘World Cinema’ slot every Wednesday from 10pm. Some of the critically-acclaimed films coming up include: El Ardor (Argentina); Theeb (UAE); Tangerines (Estonia) and more.
The new service also expands the number of on-demand movies to around 1,200 films available to view instantly, an increase of 20%. More than half of all the films watched on Sky are on-demand, with one billion downloads or streams in the last two years alone, they tell us.
Sky Cinema will be the exclusive home of Star Wars and many other blockbuster franchises including all the biggest films from the DC Comics and Marvel universes.
Starting with Star Wars, Sky Cinema will premiere the decade’s most anticipated film Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens in August 2016. In celebration, Sky Cinema will also air the Star Wars pop-up channel in August and September featuring the entire Star Wars back catalogue and lots of themed programming. Sky customers can look forward to seeing all the films as the franchise continues to unfold including Rogue One (August 2017) and Episode VIII (August 2018).
Sky Cinema will also be the home of Superheroes. Sky Cinema will feature all the latest instalments in the DC Comic and Marvel Universes such as Captain America Civil War, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad due to hit screens over the next couple of years along with all the latest films from the X-Men and Spider-man franchises.
Building on the success of Sky Movies pop-up channels like 007, Harry Potter and Aliens, Sky Cinema is planning even more. There will be at least one every month rather than only a few times each year. Already in the pipeline for the next six months are Disney-Pixar, Star Trek and Superheroes, along with channels showcasing the work of actors including Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks.
As well as pop up channels, Sky Cinema will feature more original programming such as interviews and film documentaries alongside coverage of movie events. The enhanced viewing experience will come to life through a number of new features for customers watching through Sky+HD or Sky Q.
There’s a new, improved HD picture as standard. Sky is using a new internal master format that provides a third more pixels and four times the number of colour shades of the current HD offered.
As well as improved picture, selected movies on demand will also have sound closer to the cinema. The sound range has been increased in part by taking the audio track straight from the studios. It means louder bangs and quieter whispers with no need for customer to make any adjustments to their TV.
New tools to help customers watch and find their favourite films will be added, including the ‘Restart’ feature which means customers can watch films from the very beginning no matter what point they switch on.
And perhaps the most exciting news, of all, for early adopters of 4K displays is that Sky Q customers can look forward to Ultra HD films by the end of the year!
Ian Lewis, Director of Sky Cinema, Europe commented: “With Sky Cinema we are giving customers an even closer to the cinema experience with enhanced picture and sound quality. However, we know the heart of the service is great movies. Customers want a breadth of the latest quality films to enjoy with the flexibility to watch whenever they want and on whatever device they choose. Sky Cinema builds on this commitment with even more premieres and instant access to an unrivalled library of the latest blockbusters and classic films. A better service needs a new name and Sky Cinema is about delivering the ultimate offering for movie fans everywhere.”
All films will be available on 11 dedicated live channels, via on demand, or on the go through Sky Go and the dedicated Sky Cinema app. Sky Cinema is still the only subscription service that lets you download all films for offline viewing.
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