NEWS: Sky extends multi-year partnership with WarnerMedia

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
This is TERRIBLE news. The broadcast and streaming quality of Sky content is dire. So much so I have frequently bought series on iTunes rather than watch them on Sky, just so I don't have to put up with the would-be-embarrassing-if-it-was-2008 picture and audio quality. HBO Max would have been a relatively cost-effective way to circumvent Sky's anachronistic technology.
 

Sandyb01

Active Member
This is TERRIBLE news. The broadcast and streaming quality of Sky content is dire. So much so I have frequently bought series on iTunes rather than watch them on Sky, just so I don't have to put up with the would-be-embarrassing-if-it-was-2008 picture and audio quality. HBO Max would have been a relatively cost-effective way to circumvent Sky's anachronistic technology.
I dont regard it as bad news, not from my point of view. HBO Max would have been nice I guess, so I'm sympathetic to a point. But for some, like myself, who will need to continue with a Sky sub for live sports reasons, having Sky Atlantic as part of a package will make that Sky sub a bit more justifiable (assuming a discount, which I always get).

An HBO Max sub plus a (imagined) sports streaming deal (if one existed) would not be any cheaper.
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
I dont regard it as bad news, not from my point of view. HBO Max would have been nice I guess, so I'm sympathetic to a point. But for some, like myself, who will need to continue with a Sky sub for live sports reasons, having Sky Atlantic as part of a package will make that Sky sub a bit more justifiable (assuming a discount, which I always get).

An HBO Max sub plus a (imagined) sports streaming deal (if one existed) would not be any cheaper.
Sure, makes sense for you, but I don’t watch sport of any kind and, in my case, throwing Sky content up onto a cinema screen makes it practically unwatchable. It’s that bad. Sky is more than a decade behind other streaming services and for me that is becoming inexcusable. I wouldn’t care less if HBO Max was available as an alternative, but to be denied it is unacceptable. I’ll bet my house that most new HBO Max content will be 4K/Atmos, versus Sky’s appallingly low bitrate ‘supposed’ 1080p/Stereo or 5.1 at best.
 

Sandyb01

Active Member
Sure, makes sense for you, but I don’t watch sport of any kind and, in my case, throwing Sky content up onto a cinema screen makes it practically unwatchable. It’s that bad. Sky is more than a decade behind other streaming services and for me that is becoming inexcusable. I wouldn’t care less if HBO Max was available as an alternative, but to be denied it is unacceptable. I’ll bet my house that most new HBO Max content will be 4K/Atmos, versus Sky’s appallingly low bitrate ‘supposed’ 1080p/Stereo or 5.1 at best.
Agree, its a shame for the reasons you give.

But the vast majority don't use cinemas screens, nor care that much about the finer points of steaming resolution. And as I mentioned, keeping the Sky sub package somewhat meaty with Atlantic content isn't bad news for those, especially sports watchers, who still need to have a Sky package.

As a bundle provider they may well have issues with being up to date with resolution, but while many want more choice and flexibility over what content they buy, we've already seen that fragmentation into multiple platforms is expensive (and more so) for those who want a bit of everything. If live sports moved to streaming (properly), the cost to reaggregate will be hideous.

That and the introduction soon of newer (non-sports) streaming services is going to be challenging for both providers (to be profitable) and consumers (because of the cost).

Give it 5-7 years, and we'll move back into a world of bundles again, whoever the provider is.

So, as a consumer of a bit of prestige drama and live sports, a bundle of sorts from Sky still suits (just about), and as such Atlantic's new deal isn't terrible news for everyone.

And for non Sky subscribers, there's always the choice to buy some of the content on iTunes.
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
Agree, its a shame for the reasons you give.

But the vast majority don't use cinemas screens, nor care that much about the finer points of steaming resolution. And as I mentioned, keeping the Sky sub package somewhat meaty with Atlantic content isn't bad news for those, especially sports watchers, who still need to have a Sky package.
And it's fine if many folk don't care about such things, but I would argue that here, right here on AVForums, most of us do. And whether you personally care for the highest possible fidelity or not, I still think it inexcusable that Sky is over a decade behind other streaming competitors in this regard. Very disappointing.
 

Sandyb01

Active Member
And it's fine if many folk don't care about such things, but I would argue that here, right here on AVForums, most of us do. And whether you personally care for the highest possible fidelity or not, I still think it inexcusable that Sky is over a decade behind other streaming competitors in this regard. Very disappointing.
Of course, understood. But making a declarative statement that this is terrible news is far too broad brush. If the price of a loaf of bread went up 5 times overnight, that would be terrible news for pretty much everyone.

In this case however, this is not great for those either free of / seeking to be free of a Sky bundle, but welcome enough for those that still subscribe. And as I say, fragmentation that comes with increasing consumer choice has its (cost) downsides.
 

Sandyb01

Active Member
Maybe, but it'll cost a whole load more to watch it on iTunes than stream it. And I'm too tight to pay iTunes prices :laugh: (Or Google/Amazon etc)
Ha!

Interesting one this - HBO Max would have been in the vicinity of 13-15 GBP per month (based on US pricing), or 156-180 GBP per year. Is there really that much HBO content that one would buy individually?

I really like some stuff on Atlantic - but I'd only really have paid (in advance) for Big Little Lies, Sharp Objects, Succession, Barry and Twin Peaks over the last 2 years. Pretty sure that would not have cost me more then 156-180 GBP.

Season 2 of BLL is 17 quid on iTunes, Season 1 is 10 quid, Sharp Objects is 7 quid.
Admittedly not prices at time of broadcast, but they come down fairly quickly.

Anyway, a shame HBO Max hasn't come here, I can see that, but existing Sky subscribers wont mind the extension of the Atlantic deal.

And again, we're going to end up back in a world of bundles in 5+ years, and fragmenting into multiple streaming platforms will end up expensive, especially as longer streaming contracts become the new normal (not far away).

There is already talk that Netflix et al, but Netflix especially will start to drip feed their more flagship content, removing the incentive to subscribe, binge and cancel.

Welcome to the new era of streaming - we had it good for the last few years, but it was never sustainable in its current form.
 

Eddy555

Distinguished Member
The cost is a good point. I have no issues paying £12 for my Netflix subscription, but then I'm sure I get better value out of that than I would by buying individual episodes as I watch quite a bit over a month.
HBO things I'm interested in that I can think of (or would've been recently)
  • Game Of Thrones
  • West World
  • Watchmen
  • True Detective
  • Chernobyl
  • The Deuce
So that wouldn't break the bank I guess.

The problem when buying individual series or episodes is that I feel much more conscious about buying it, so will miss some stuff that I could just have a go at on an all in one package.

But yeah the fragmentation that's coming up is going to be a pain, but my current plan is to dip into some of them for a month to watch what I want and then cancel (which seems to be most people's plans too).
 

Sandyb01

Active Member
The cost is a good point. I have no issues paying £12 for my Netflix subscription, but then I'm sure I get better value out of that than I would by buying individual episodes as I watch quite a bit over a month.
HBO things I'm interested in that I can think of (or would've been recently)
  • Game Of Thrones
  • West World
  • Watchmen
  • True Detective
  • Chernobyl
  • The Deuce
So that wouldn't break the bank I guess.

The problem when buying individual series or episodes is that I feel much more conscious about buying it, so will miss some stuff that I could just have a go at on an all in one package.

But yeah the fragmentation that's coming up is going to be a pain, but my current plan is to dip into some of them for a month to watch what I want and then cancel (which seems to be most people's plans too).
Indeed, and agree that buying individual series can seem a bit weird. But the landscape will change, what with streaming contracts becoming less flexible / drip feeding to prevent binge & cancel habits. So we may all have to think a bit differently in a few years time, unless one is happy to have a long list of platform subscriptions.

Its funny when you list out the HBO / Sky Atlantic stuff - seeing it (and yes, I'd add Chernobyl and Deuce too), written out, makes you realise there's a quality there that Netflix are far from (yes, they do quantity, but still...)
 

Eddy555

Distinguished Member
HBO have done some of the best series - The Wire being one of my all time favourites. Boardwalk Empire was great too. I own both of those on BluRay though - and I'm happier to buy something physical than a digital version as they are generally cheaper and better quality (audio mainly).
These are highlights though and there's stuff out there I want to watch once, without owning. I guess I could buy the BluRay and sell them on, but that's extra hassle over a streaming platform.
 

DKI

Active Member
Ah for peaks sake Warner. Should of Launched HBO Max in the UK instead. I hope you put a clause in your contract so that you still can do HBO Max. I wanted to be looking to ditch sky in 2020.

I might end up just need to keep an eye on the shows and then see what I need to buy and is it cost effective waiting since HBO shows are quick to turn up digitally and Warner shows you sometimes can buy when airing on sky one.
 

Sandyb01

Active Member
Ah for peaks sakes Warner. Should of Launched HBO Max in the UK instead. I hope you put a clause in your contract so that you still can do HBO Max. I wanted to be looking to ditch sky in 2020.
HBO Max is not coming to the UK.
Streaming offerings are not one size (country) fits all, in the way that Netflix (sort of) is.
HBO, from their point of view, don't have the brand name recognition that they do in the US, where they're a longstanding channel in their own right. They know Sky does have brand value here, hence the different ambition for HBO content here.

That may change when it comes to renewing the Sky Atlantic deal next time around.
 

DKI

Active Member
HBO Max is not coming to the UK.
Streaming offerings are not one size (country) fits all, in the way that Netflix (sort of) is.
HBO, from their point of view, don't have the brand name recognition that they do in the US, where they're a longstanding channel in their own right. They know Sky does have brand value here, hence the different ambition for HBO content here.

That may change when it comes to renewing the Sky Atlantic deal next time around.
I am aware it might not come to the UK but it would be nice if it did. You are right about brand recognition as sky is more recognisable but it also depends on those paying attention would know the HBO brand because sky do mention them. Also Warner could of used a different brand name like Warner Max since it is more recognisable instead of HBO Max. Still it would be nice if Warner kept it an open option. Maybe in 5 years it might or might not change.
 

Plektrum

Standard Member
Ah for peaks sake Warner. Should of Launched HBO Max in the UK instead. I hope you put a clause in your contract so that you still can do HBO Max. I wanted to be looking to ditch sky in 2020.

I might end up just need to keep an eye on the shows and then see what I need to buy and is it cost effective waiting since HBO shows are quick to turn up digitally and Warner shows you sometimes can buy when airing on sky one.
It’s a sensible strategic move for the short term.

Sky are a trusted partner as distributor and as a co-producer which they need if they’re looking at boost volume across the US HBO and HBO Max platforms. Plus this deal lets Sky assume all the risk and delivery costs - it’s why they replicated the model across multiple territories.

I imagine right now AT&T don’t want or need to go full steam into building out an international streaming platform which would not be cheap or time effective given how long it would take to repatriate content rights across various territories. Streaming isn’t likely as existential for them as it is for Netflix or even Disney who clearly want to integrate and control all their content to maximise their IP.

AT&T‘s core business is broadband and wireless so the Warnermedia purchase was primarily about vertically integrating content with their comms business - HBO Max is really going to be their video driver to try and shore up their core business in their existing territories.
 

steviedr

Distinguished Member
Another one disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong Now tv subs are good value, but in this day and age to still be streaming in 720p with the promise (think it’s over 2 years now) that HD’s on the way, I just don’t believe them. When and if it does arrive, I may reinvest.
 

Similar threads

Trending threads

Latest threads

Top Bottom