Netflix shares ended higher in the US Wednesday, ahead of an announcement it had entered an agreement with Sky. Netflix will become available as part of the Sky TV Q service, allowing European subscribers to buy both services in one bill.
Netflix described the deal as a “pioneering partnership.”
Netflix shares closed 0.26% lower at $291.38. By 1110 BST, Sky shares were up 0.27% at £1,351.58.
New bundle to launch later in 2018
Later in 2018, Netflix will be integrated into the Sky Q, allowing customers to access all their chosen Sky and Netflix programming through one service.
However, to take advantage of the newly agreed bundle, Sky subscribers and Netflix users will have to upgrade to Sky Q.
“We are delighted to partner with Sky to bring the latest technologies and great stories under the same roof,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix Chief Executive. “With this innovative new partnership and Netflix’s stellar line up of original content from across the world, Sky's customers will be able to seamlessly access and enjoy all the best entertainment in one place.”
Sky was equally upbeat on the news.
“By placing Sky and Netflix content side-by-side, along with programmes from the likes of HBO, Showtime, Fox and Disney, we are making the entertainment experience even easier and simpler for our customers,” said Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Group Chief Executive.
Netflix said customers from the UK and Ireland would benefit from the new package later in 2018. Customers in Germany, Austria and Italy will gain access to the service after that.
Future Sky ownership remains unknown
The partnership news comes as the future of Sky’s ownership remains unknown. US cable company Comcast made a bid for Sky earlier this week. The bid comes as Fox owner Rupert Murdoch’s bid – that has been accepted by Sky – continues to hit regulatory problems.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said a recent trip to London and a conversation with a London tax driver helped teach him more about the potential value of Sky.
“The cab driver was incredibly knowledgeable about the difference between Virgin and Sky in every feature,” Roberts told Reuters reporters. “Then when we went to the Sky store, we spent at least an hour going through every feature and comparing it to our own... We were really terribly impressed.”