Sky Falling In ?

I've been pretty vocal in my criticisms of the BBC in this blog, but paid little attention to Sky, the UK's only satellite broadcaster.

However, spending some time with both an ordinary Sky box and their more advanced Sky + box over the Christmas period has shown how far behind they are slipping. And the internet TV experience is even worse.

The interface and user experience on the standard Sky box is truly dreadful - for example, the video stops playing when looking at the EPG.

And the Sky + box is significantly inferior to the Virgin + box, not offering VoD and with more limited simultaneous recording.

Sky are offering films and some sports through their Sky Anytime service, but this trails all other products in the market and is limited to existing Sky customers.

The acquisition of Easynet is not yet seeing any benefits. A million subscribers may sound like a lot, but this only places them a distant sixth in the UK market.

1. BT Retail 4,074,000
2. Virgin Media 3,590,000
3. Carphone Warehouse 2,500,000
4. Tiscali (Pipex) 2,000,000
5. Orange 1,142,000
6. Sky Broadband 1,000,000
7. Kingston Comms 195,255
8. 132,000
9. THUS Group (Demon) 126,000
10. Entanet 80,000

With the latest figures from Orange showing that the majority of households now spending more time online than watching television at home, Sky's new management need to up their game if they are to maintain their market position. James Murdoch may well have passed them a poison chalice.