Blog Post

Sky’s new subscription service lets UK users download video for offline viewing

Digital satellite TV service Sky has launched Sky Go Extra, a service that lets Sky customers in the U.K. and Ireland download movies and TV shows over WiFI for offline viewing on mobile devices and laptops.

Sky Go Extra is £5 (USD $7.93) per month for existing Sky customers and builds on Sky Go, the company’s on-demand service for mobile and connected devices (which is free to subscribers). Customers who sign up for Sky Go Extra can also watch on-demand streaming video on four devices, up from the two allowed under Sky Go.

The offerings available to Sky Go Extra users depend on their underlying Sky TV package. Customers who already pay for the Sky Movies pack can “download blockbuster releases around six months after they have ended their run in cinemas,” according to the release. That includes movies like Avengers Assemble and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, as well as all the James Bond films. Customers who don’t pay for the Sky Movies add-on can download TV shows from Sky channels and from partner channels like Nickelodeon (s VIA), Disney (s DIS) and HBO (s VIA) — including HBO hits Girls and Game of Thrones, AMC’s Mad Men and Fox’s The Following.

Once users download Sky content, it’s not to keep: “Sky Movies content can be watched for up to 30 days and once viewing commences is available for 48 hours. Most other Sky content can be watched for up to 7 days and once viewing commences is available for 48 hours.”

Other U.K. companies are also experimenting with downloadable video. The BBC’s iPlayer lets users download BBC programs to computers, iPhones and iPads for offline viewing. (Content can be watched for up to 30 days, with playback available for seven days after viewing begins.) The Amazon-owned Lovefilm doesn’t allow offline viewing, but plans to do so.