Sky and Sony Pictures have announced a multi-year deal that will bring all new and future Sony releases to Sky before any other subscription service.
The deal, which will cover five territories including Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy and the UK, will allow Sky customers to view new and future Sony releases through both Sky's subscription and transactional services.
The deal is extra significant because it also includes all UHD content. Sky has previously mentioned that it has plans to broadcast in 4K, but this feature was absent at the launch of its flagship Sky Q service.
Also important is the fact that it is the first agreement to cover multiple territories, which is increasingly relevant when so much of our viewing is happening through global streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. These services make it much more obvious when a show or movie is available in one territory and not another.
As for the content, Sky has confirmed we can expect the upcoming movies Ghostbusters, Angry Birds, Money Monster and Inferno will be landing on the service first.
In theory, this deal means the usual need to negotiate broadcast rights on a territory-by-territory basis, meaning that once a film is available to Sky customers in the UK, it should also be available simultaneously across the other four territories.
Sky's press release emphasises that the regional differences in films the way films are presented and delivered by Sky will continue to be preserved, so this deal won't necessarily mean that viewers will have exactly the same experience across the territories.
The deal will cover a variety of Sky services, from subscription channels such as Sky Movies and Sky Cinema, to transactional services such as Sky Story and Sky Select, and finally streaming services such as Now TV and Sky Online.
In other words, anywhere you can currently watch a movie on Sky will be covered by this deal. As for UHD, Sky promises it will be switching on 4K for Q customers this Summer.
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