Sky & Microsoft Partnership in the UK Officially Announced
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Sky and Microsoft today announced a new partnership for the UK and Ireland that is set to please TV and gaming fans alike, as Sky plan to bring their Sky Player (their online TV service) to Xbox 360’s this coming autumn.
The new service was today demoed in front of the UK’s gaming press, with Sky Sports favourite, Georgie Thompson (glowing as ever may I add) on hand to dictate the proceedings. Whilst details of the full channel line-up and subscription packages are yet to be disclosed, details of how the service would run were aplenty.
Through your Xbox, users will have access to a whole array of TV shows ranging from must-see entertainment shows, blockbuster movies, documentaries, kids, music, arts, to the more important (for me anyway), sports. Whether you want to watch your favourite programs live, or at your own leisure, the choice is yours. 
The Sky Planner on the Xbox 360 utilizes the slick menu system as introduced by the NXE last year. Viewers can then select their genre, and check out what sort of programmes are available for viewing. Not only can viewers cycle through each genre and program, but each program itself is backed up with relevant information tied to it, from synopsis to cast. The service will also boast the usage of a clean and quick TV guide to enhance your viewing experience.
The service, like Netflix, is streaming only, so load times will be relatively quick and painless, and it carries with it a great picture quality. When autumn comes, all live TV streamed from the service will be of standard definition quality, with the on-demand programs being upscaled to equal that of a DVD rip. It looks like they really have their bases covered.
Many will question the need for the Sky Player through the Xbox but from a Sky standpoint, it’s all about offering their current customers more choice in how they access their content, whilst at the same time reaching a new audience who may not have been able to access Sky before. Stephen Nuttall, Director of Sky’s Commercial Group commented that their “partnership with Xbox is a further example of our commitment to put choice and control in the hands of customers.  Xbox owners now have a range of ways to access Sky content and can pick and choose the platform and packages that are right for them.”
When the service kicks off in the autumn, existing Sky customers will be access their subscription service as they would through a PC or Mac. New customers however will be able to take advantage of a number of currently unspecified packages with Microsoft hinting at a pay-per-view service being available as well.
The partnership is also looking to enhance the viewer’s experience by including supporting applications. Sky Sports for instance will offer viewers the chance to check fixtures, results and league tables of their favourite sports team in the middle of the live action. The service will also feature live statistics, team line-ups, news and a whole array of goodies to compliment the service further. 
The Xbox 360 Sky Player will also feature avatar support allowing you and your friends to join an Xbox Live Party and watch the match together. Sing when you’re winning, initiate avatar actions to belittle your friends when you score, or just nonchalantly support your team, it’s your call. Interactive applications will also be developed across other programme genres as well.
This is indeed a momentous relationship for 360 users in the UK as two of the leading brands in entertainment come together to combine forces. With a slick interface, split-second loading times and a crisp picture, the Xbox 360 Sky Player looks like a fantastic addition for TV and games fans in the UK and Ireland. Will the partnership share a similar success to what Netflix and Microsoft’s US branch have seen to date? If the subscription plans for non-Sky subscribers are well executed, then you’re damn right it will. It also allows people who might not have had the chance to experience Sky before, a chance to catch its shows through a broadband connection and their home console, instead of sticking up a fugly dish.
Check back tomorrow to see what Jerry Johnson, General Manager of Xbox Live in Europe and Sky’s Adrian Pilkington had to say about the whole deal in our exclusive little chat.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 118
Comment #1 by HaydnMH
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:00:26 PM
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Hmmmm idea sounds good for sky customers but the server space its going to take up is going to have a negative effect on the service for UK users of live.

Forum Posts: 144
Comment #2 by FOXHOUND MGS4
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:00:52 PM
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Sounds like a good thing for us Brits :)

Forum Posts: 72
Comment #3 by Drewbles
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:01:10 PM
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Depends on pricing and what sorta stuff they offer as i download all the stuff i watch for free.

Forum Posts: 509
Comment #4 by spilner100
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:01:56 PM
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sounds better now but, avatar support...WHY

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #5 by SpyPie
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:03:08 PM
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Lol @ 2

Forum Posts: 27
Comment #6 by ShirleyPeanut
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:03:11 PM
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looks good i don't get sky normally, hopefully the menus wont lag like the marketplace

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #7 by Draconic Lord
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:05:47 PM
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Lucky brits ;) You got the heck of a cool service there. Lets hope they get this right so they spread it to the rest of Europe, hehe.

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #8 by I TBT I McCoY
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:07:40 PM
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i already have sky hd in my lounge will i need to pay extra to have it on my 360?

Forum Posts: 53
Comment #9 by JT Gregory
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:09:16 PM
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so does this mean that people who already have a sky subscription on their tv will be able to do this for free, or is it free for everyone??

Forum Posts: 144
Comment #10 by FOXHOUND MGS4
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:11:43 PM
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@#8 Yea i hope the rest of Europe gets a simular kinda service aswell

Forum Posts: 90
Comment #11 by Oultranator0731
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:12:22 PM
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Yay!! i knew it!! this will be good even though i have Sky+ in my room!!!

Forum Posts: 585
Comment #12 by MattyBoosh
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:17:14 PM
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Excellent, glad to get something extra out of my Sky+ subscription.

Looking forward to more details on this over the coming months.

Forum Posts: 2055
Comment #13 by Tsaako
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:44:15 PM
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Raises a question for virgin customers like myself.. probs only for sky customers only...

Forum Posts: 1464
Comment #14 by Doktor Wilhelm
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:44:39 PM
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Wow, if I didn't know better, I would think this article has been paid for by Microsoft &/or Sky! lol. Anyways, I'll have to see what the costs are like before I get too excited.

Forum Posts: 5419
Comment #15 by Zef
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:44:58 PM
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I imagine it will be abour 200% of the cost of a regular Sky subscription and will be all the crappy channels.

As long as they have cartoons and boobs people will pay for it.

Forum Posts: 58
Comment #16 by ThitherBoot
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:45:58 PM
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# 9 nothing is ever free this day.

I think it would be like you have to pay monthly or yearly just like XNA

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #17 by TwiceAzzNice
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:49:44 PM
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Forum Posts: 305
Comment #18 by KindredPOKER
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 06:50:20 PM
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I hate stuff like this, if I have Sky I'll watch Sky not watch Sky on Xbox...

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #19 by Barry619
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 07:03:46 PM
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@18 What about the people who don't want to pay 45 quid a month just to watch football?

While i dunno if there will be any chance of it actually happening, the idea of being able to pay a reduced rate just to receive sky sports via my xbox is a very tempting one for me, i had sky at my old flat, but all i watch is sport or comedy, i find 90% of modern TV utter rubbish, to be able to pay let's say 10 - 15 a month to just get sky sports would be IMO excellent. PLEASE DO IT SKY

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #20 by Lothrian
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 07:21:10 PM
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Ok just to clear a few things up, if you are an existing Sky customer who has a dish+box etc then this service will be included in the cost (so yes free in a way).

Sky player is already available to any existing sky customer via a PC this is just merely extending it, if you are not a sky customer then you will have to pay for one of the unannounced packages.

Also i don't understand the comments like "if i have sky ill watch sky not on my xbox", sky player lets you watch tv shows when you want so if you miss them or you dont have sky+ you can flick on your 360 and catch up with your missed episodes of lost/heroes/fringe etc.

Forum Posts: 160
Comment #21 by iiGNiiT3
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 07:25:57 PM
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Georgie Thomas is so fit

Forum Posts: 41
Comment #22 by Tim 13
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 07:52:52 PM
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1: Actually, Netflix has virtually no effect on Xbox Live here in America. I would say it's pretty smooth sailing for Sky subscribers.

Forum Posts: 5419
Comment #23 by Zef
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 07:57:53 PM
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Forum Posts: 21
Comment #24 by Olliezilla
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 08:01:25 PM
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lol @ 21

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #25 by ReapingAngel
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 08:29:27 PM
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Does that mean we will need a TV license to use this service? Cause right now, you don't need a TV license to play games.

Forum Posts: 560
Comment #26 by Twilight Star
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 08:33:47 PM
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yess i can finally have sky in my room

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #27 by PimpinIsntEasy
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 09:00:57 PM
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sounds bollocks =D

Forum Posts: 14
Comment #28 by Feener278
Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 09:54:32 PM
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Sounds great apart from the steaming part. Just the little 5 minute videos on the dashboard take a good 2 minutes to load and then rebuffer every 30 seconds with me.

Forum Posts: 492
Comment #29 by EcT Felix
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 12:47:29 AM
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The thing is:


Forum Posts: 707
Comment #30 by chrisnottm
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 01:51:07 AM
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Wow you seem to be an angry Norwegiansen 29.
Chill out, sky sucks anyway :P

Forum Posts: 585
Comment #31 by MattyBoosh
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 02:20:45 AM
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@ #25

If you're in the UK and have a 360, then you have a TV. Therefore you must have a TV licence.

@ #29
What has being the richest country got to do with getting services? If that was the case, then Luxembourg would get everything because they're the richest. Small players on the world map are insignificant to major corporations.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #32 by The Wickerman13
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 02:48:01 AM
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this sounds all good and well but it will probably only be sky users that can use this feature, and if they already have sky why would they watch on thier xbox and not tv?

Forum Posts: 4444
Comment #33 by Purge
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 02:48:46 AM
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I cant wait for this little slice of heaven.

Now I can make my friends watch LOST. :p

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #34 by lordspazmonkey
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 02:49:53 AM
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looks like this is gonna be a free service like the pc version sky has it just links to your sky account and u can watch sky from wherever you are which is perfect to those who have just been kicked off the tv in the living room and want to watch whatever they were watching they can do it in their own room now without a sky box and an extra subscription, the netflix thing the americans have is free too isnt it? dont they just link it to their netflix account and just pay what they would normally pay netflix?

Forum Posts: 49
Comment #35 by SteamingClown
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 03:00:05 AM
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easily one of the most awesome things i've heard this year. This will be tits.

Forum Posts: 248
Comment #36 by IanAHD
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 03:06:30 AM
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should be right price

Forum Posts: 546
Comment #37 by SuperGaz
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 03:12:51 AM
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wooo. Fuck you sony.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #38 by rowtheboat
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 03:28:00 AM
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#37 agreed

Forum Posts: 354
Comment #39 by Ali_P_84
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 03:45:40 AM
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#25, yes you do need a tv licence. the licence allows you to own a piece of equipment that is capable of receiving a television signal. If you were to buy a dvd recorder you would need a tv licence. If you have one of those tv cards for your PC you should have a tv licence. If I were you I'd get a tv licence sorted out for your property pronto.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #40 by Nicespliff
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 04:02:43 AM
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Nice, I have never had sky, so I may want to get me a subscription.

Forum Posts: 16
Comment #41 by xan212
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 04:08:18 AM
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Sweet, this will be good

Forum Posts: 29
Comment #42 by Samoza1
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 04:40:47 AM
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Its all about price point for me. I like the idea, but I ain't paying much for it.

Forum Posts: 65
Comment #43 by norm130
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 04:50:28 AM
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If you only have a tv that is just used for gaming and never has an aerial plugged in, they can't fine you for not having a tv license, same goes for tv card in your laptop, unless they walk in and it is plugged in your fine. I got through two years of university without paying for one.

Forum Posts: 38
Comment #44 by I3URKY
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 04:51:28 AM
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i really do hope thisis free to exsisting sky customers if it is that wud be excellent, if not i dont see my self gettin it (credit crunch) but it does sound good bein able to watchthe footy with my mates in a party or wrestling aswell... wud this meen tht PPV that free on sky sports for wrestling every other one, wud be able to catch up threw this???

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #45 by caveman659
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 05:11:37 AM
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how much it this shit goin 2 cost like £100000000000000

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #46 by BEARDED CARMINE
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 05:12:15 AM
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Sounds good but if you dont have a good internet connection then won't this be a waste of time due to buffering and loading times .

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #47 by Jew Tremin
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 05:48:14 AM
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I don't get it, why don't you turn your tv onto normal, so you can watch sky (if you have it) anyway?

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #48 by jimmym316
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 05:53:09 AM
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All sky tv customers already get sky player for free on there pc now they will get it for free on their 360 what's not to like?

Forum Posts: 208
Comment #49 by xHHx CURT
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 06:08:07 AM
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im on virgin... Does that mean i still get it if i pay for it? I want to watch liverpool on my xbox... That would be amazing WHOOP WHOOP!

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #50 by The Guava Man
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 06:21:46 AM
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Forum Posts: 0
Comment #51 by oTHE STIGo
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 06:23:18 AM
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''''RUBBISH'''' im in the UK and have had an American xbox360 account set up on my 360, and for those who have never seen the american marketplace, it is FLOODED movies whole tv series and much more FOR ''EVERYONE'' and just about everything you could want. SORRY Microsoft, YOU NEED TO DO BETTER THAN THAT singling out people again who dont have sky.

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #52 by ResentedBiscuit
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 07:00:25 AM
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hey im irish so dis count for me aswell ??

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #53 by B Rabbit FNFA
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 07:08:02 AM
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get yourself a starview box and watch all the movies and sports u want for free ;)thank you virgin

Forum Posts: 14795
Comment #54 by Webb [STAFF]
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 07:11:31 AM
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Yes, the service is free for existing Sky customers.

And yes, it's coming to Ireland ... it says it in the first paragraph :P

Like I said, it's a pretty fantastic feature, but like anything, it'll come down to price.

Forum Posts: 2290
Comment #55 by X monkfish69 X
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 07:15:36 AM
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I'll make a decision on this once I know what prices are involved. I'm already a Sky customer, but I don't really want to pay any more money out at the moment than I have to. Otherwise I would subscribe to Sky HD.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #56 by JBTrio
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 07:31:25 AM
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This sounds great. I am a Sky customer but onlt have one Sky box. Having one in my bedroom will be great. As long as the pricing isn't too steep I'll jump on this.

Forum Posts: 1003
Comment #57 by Dr Popodopolus
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 07:40:43 AM
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Or you could just watch everything for free, on t'internet.

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #58 by Nintense TJUK
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 07:59:47 AM
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Theres an artical in the Sun (newspaper) on this today page 52, showing a picture of 8 avitars in a stadium watching the arsenal-liverpool game lol, looks pretty decent tbh ! check it out

Forum Posts: 27
Comment #59 by MOYFplox
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 08:01:40 AM
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From a quick read through of it, seems we won't have to pay extra on our current sky subscriptions?
Looking forward to this (:

Forum Posts: 3254
Comment #60 by Bearded Bugs
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 08:05:59 AM
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This is very good news indeed!!

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #61 by RIPHEAD911
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 08:20:29 AM
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i hope people with a sky membership will get it free, i have freeview and it serves its purpous , but it could be better. This will be a welcome addition to my 360.

Forum Posts: 262
Comment #62 by II M1CK3H II
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 08:37:34 AM
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If you live in NORTHERN IRELAND then yeah you can get this.

Republic of Ireland isn't part of the UK though, so you wont be able to get it if your across the border.

Forum Posts: 1031
Comment #63 by MAXIBHOY
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 09:02:27 AM
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this wont make a difference to me really, i have sky plus in my room so i can record and watch shows whenever..

Forum Posts: 97
Comment #64 by Hitchcock
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 09:28:16 AM
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aww man when they gonna give us Canadians something good lol

Forum Posts: 33
Comment #65 by DaBenoit
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 10:16:10 AM
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Yes this will be free, depending on what sky package you have at home. It will work exactly the same as the sky player i have installed on my pc. This means for me i can watch all movies and recent episodes, cannot watch sports without a multiroom subscription. Also it is a very small episode database only the last couple of episodes are available for free, the others you have to pay. All in all it is good with movies but pointless for episodes.

Forum Posts: 14795
Comment #66 by Webb [STAFF]
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 11:54:50 AM
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@62 - Not true. Read the first paragraph will you. The UK AND Ireland!!

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #67 by Epic Gamer Will
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 12:29:32 PM
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well its simple then in it... dont buy it LoL

Forum Posts: 639
Comment #68 by Matt x360a
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 01:16:43 PM
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this sounds really good but ill have no need for it, already got full sky package along with full xbox experience, aswell as most people do so im not 100% behind this but it sounds good

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #69 by Tib088
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 01:37:36 PM
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I already got sky so this is just seems like a waste of time for me, unless I can use our current sky subscription to watch Scrubs without my sister butting in and trying to watch Two and Half men I'm all for it! Should be good.

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #70 by Ryan-3
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 03:56:33 PM
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good job the sky has just been subscribed to again. yay :)

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #71 by Johnkane46
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 05:04:10 PM
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do ya have to pay coz i already pay for sky

Forum Posts: 207
Comment #72 by Andy91145
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 06:43:19 PM
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sounds good hope it is not to pricey

Forum Posts: 14795
Comment #73 by Webb [STAFF]
Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 06:44:42 PM
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"When the service kicks off in the autumn, existing Sky customers will be access their subscription service as they would through a PC or Mac."

Forum Posts: 68
Comment #74 by Paddyboss
Saturday, May 30, 2009 @ 03:10:08 AM
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This will be awesome as i have sky in my house but not in my room and the one in my house is sky not sky+ so news of the catchup system is great also i think having your avatars watching it with you will be amazing!

Forum Posts: 593
Comment #75 by x 19 Luke 87 x
Saturday, May 30, 2009 @ 09:54:59 AM
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Forum Posts: 86
Comment #76 by SBustathedog
Saturday, May 30, 2009 @ 12:50:37 PM
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I dont understand do you have to have a suscription to sky already or can you get it if you dont have sky.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #77 by Bubiinho
Saturday, May 30, 2009 @ 02:58:01 PM
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@ 52
No It Don't,, Cause You're A Pikey :) haha

Forum Posts: 40
Comment #78 by crazyman
Sunday, May 31, 2009 @ 03:56:26 AM
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will it b free though?

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #79 by NINEmmDeathWish
Sunday, May 31, 2009 @ 06:17:09 AM
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It will cost =/ only people with sky will benfit unless we have to pay Mircowave points to rent and buy programmes could be okay. The party idea is quite could, talk to your mates and watch it.

They should make Mircowave points more easier to get.


Forum Posts: 108
Comment #80 by AToMiiK
Monday, June 01, 2009 @ 06:56:59 AM
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i expect this will be the same as sky player on laptops/computers sky customers will be able to get it for free BUT will only be able to have it on one device so people who use it on the move on laptops will have to uninstall it so they can use it on the 360. i hope that doesn't happen as it might turn out to be a like sky multi room without paying an extra tenner a month =D however i very much doubt it....=/

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #81 by Cragsterboy
Monday, June 01, 2009 @ 06:33:38 PM
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sky HD box = Failed thanks to Xbox 360 which will basically be sky hd without paying 150 quid for the hd box woop!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #82 by palma4
Tuesday, June 02, 2009 @ 02:17:11 AM
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do we have to pay if we allready have sky or not because if we do i wont pay for it i will only get the free stuff

Forum Posts: 98
Comment #83 by Freshmaker
Tuesday, June 02, 2009 @ 12:06:08 PM
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I think I'll stick with watching Tv with my Xbox off, and now I kno wat sky is now

Forum Posts: 165
Comment #84 by Hoyt23
Tuesday, June 02, 2009 @ 06:38:01 PM
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will this be coming to the United States too.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #85 by Robsaggs
Thursday, June 04, 2009 @ 03:30:16 AM
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This is great news for me, i don't have Sky TV and have no plans to subscribe, but it does mean i can use the on demand to watch the football when my team is on. Provided they don't price it too highly!

Forum Posts: 28
Comment #86 by Woodsie3191
Thursday, June 04, 2009 @ 11:24:29 AM
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Brilliant idea!! just a little worried about the stream quality :/ it seems that if you have a wireless connector even the indside xbox videos don't stream 100% well :( ..

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #87 by benno296
Thursday, June 04, 2009 @ 03:55:35 PM
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If i dont have sky will they do a subscription to just watch sky on xbox

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #88 by Radical R
Thursday, June 04, 2009 @ 05:36:41 PM
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mega lol at #29!!!

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #89 by Not So Dead
Thursday, June 04, 2009 @ 06:36:04 PM
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This will be great, i can see the price being slightly more expensive than a normal sky subscribition, due to every company wanting some money out of it.
But for those who dont want a satalite dish on your wall like myself this is great.

Forum Posts: 42
Comment #90 by austen2k7
Friday, June 05, 2009 @ 09:30:07 AM
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@79: Microwave points x]

But if this is free then I say why not (:

Forum Posts: 1303
Comment #91 by ashleary
Sunday, June 07, 2009 @ 01:09:32 AM
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I wonder if they'll do some kind of bundle like they do with the free skyplayer on the PC if you have the dish on your wall only this time obviously its free on your xbox via some kind of viewerID and password? Or if in fact you'll just be able to sign up to the XBL/Sky as a standalone thing. Either way you can be pretty much certain it'll cost more than its worth, i mean its what, about £40+ for the sports packages? Me thinks the shine could wear off this idea very quickly and it'll be relegated to xbox webcam/hd-dvd land lol.

Forum Posts: 257
Comment #92 by rifleman1007
Sunday, June 07, 2009 @ 09:50:05 PM
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maybe the brits will stop complaining about north america getting everything first now?

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Comment #93 by rowtheboat
Monday, June 08, 2009 @ 08:17:59 AM
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yeah this is like the first thing decent thing we've got before you

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