Feeds

Sky confirms Picnic pick 'n' mix

Broadband and pay TV for all

Boost IT visibility and business value

Sky today made a cunningly-timed announcement 'fessing up to its new "Picnic" offering that will let non-satellite customers join its broadband network and terrestrial TV viewers receive its pay TV channels.

Subject to clearing regulatory hurdles, the new venture will launch in the new year as a separate business with its own management and customer services. It'll take on BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and the rest in markets that Sky had left unfought.

Punters will be able to pick and choose from up to 16Mbit/s broadband (available to the 70 per cent of homes covered by Sky's LLU network), fixed line phone, and a new range of terrestrial set-top boxes. Pricing details haven't been released.

Sky applied to Ofcom to change the three channels it offers over the air in February. It wants to add a fourth by switching Picnic's new generation of decoders to MPEG4.

Sky Movies, Sky Sports, and Sky One have been fingered for the initial line up. Sky currently uses its terrestrial bandwith for free broadcasts of Sky Three, Sky Sports News, and Sky News. The rolling news channel will return if Ofcom also rubberstamps the MPEG4 plan, and during the day a factual channel and a kids' station will run on two of the streams.

Regular Reg readers have known about Picnic since August. Given it won't launch for some months yet, the timing of the announcement is triply significant.

The first wave of households tempted by TalkTalk's game-changing "free" broadband offer will be released from their 18-month contracts from 11 October. The littany of delays and technical problems many have endured has contrasted with Sky's own smooth rollout of broadband for its TV customers.

It's also a good spoiler for O2's twice-delayed ADSL2+ launch, which the Mail on Sunday reckons will finally happen this week under the name "Fourplay".

On the TV side side of battle, news that terrestrial TV viewers can pay for access to some of the satellite broadcasters' premium channels steals thunder from Virgin Media's noise making over its new channel, Virgin 1. The cable firm created the channel after Sky withdrew Sky One in a fees dispute earlier this year, and begins broadcasting it on Freeview today.

Sky is accepting registrations for the launch of Picnic here. The start of Ofcom's 10 week consultation is imminent. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.