Sky (www.sky.com) as we know it today was formed back in 1990 as a satellite TV provider, and is now the most popular subscription TV provider in the UK with over 10 million customers - double that of its nearest rival.
In between, it pretty much made sports TV what it is today - as well as playing a part in the formation of the Premier League - with Sky Sports, while Sky Cinema became the place to see the biggest films on TV first.
In 2005, Sky began doing broadband too, which allowed it to start offering catch-up and on-demand films and TV, and it’s continued to innovate, helping to blaze a trail for the likes of digital recording, HD, 3D and online television.
What does Sky do?
Sky TV is undoubtedly Sky’s signature product - it’s the biggest subscription TV service in the country, it has just about everything anyone could want to watch - especially when it comes to films and sports. It incorporates just about every feature you could want (recording, catch-up, on-demand, HD, 3D, online, on your phone) and is so ubiquitous even your dad knows a Sky dish when he sees one.
Its newest, and most comprehensive, TV service is Sky Q. This gives you a better set top box with a superior interface, a super-advanced remote control, and loads more features - including the ability to access TV, on-demand and recordings all over the house; connectivity with your phone to play music and display photos on the telly; box sets; apps; and web videos.
While Sky may not be as well known for broadband as it is TV, it’s still the second most popular broadband provider in the UK. Basic Sky Broadband comes in two flavours - Sky Broadband Unlimited, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, is unlimited broadband; and Sky Broadband Connect, which you can get if you live outside Sky's network area.
If Sky Broadband don’t got enough pep for your online action, you can go fibre optic with Sky Fibre, which again comes in three forms - Sky Fibre for a basic boost, Sky Fibre Unlimited for a boost you can make the most of, and Sky Fibre Max for a double boost you can make the most of.
This is Sky’s home phone service. It comes with all Sky Broadband and Sky Fibre packages, though you can get it on its own too. For a little more, you can even upgrade to Sky Talk Evenings and Weekends Extra, which gives you inclusive calls to UK landlines and mobiles on Saturdays and Sundays and every evening; Sky Talk Anytime Extra, which means you can use those inclusive calls whenever; or Sky Talk International Extra, which includes calls to 50 international destinations too.
Sky existing customer deals
Good news if you’re already subscribing to a Sky service - the provider offers exclusive deals for existing customers too. These are special deals or additional services that are only available to Sky households, and give you extra stuff at better value than a standard package. Upgrading can be less hassle than switching, and getting more from the same provider can mean lower monthly bills.
What’s good about Sky?
- Sky Sports has exclusive rights to more big matches and sports events than anyone else
- Sky Cinema gets all the big films before other TV channels and online subscription services
- Sky TV is available almost everywhere
- Sky Q is super comprehensive and packed with features, like fluid viewing
- You can also get just about any and every channel available in the UK
- Sky Broadband is widely available
- Sky line rental is generally among the cheapest charged by big providers in the UK
What’s bad about Sky?
- Sky TV is expensive - if you want sports you can’t get anywhere else, big films before you can watch them anywhere else and hundreds of channels, it’ll cost you
- If you want Sky TV, you’ll have to have a satellite dish put on your home - there’s no other way of getting it right now
- You need an engineer to install Sky TV for you - you can’t do it yourself
- Sky Broadband has had problems with overcapacity in the past
- Sky Fibre isn’t as widely available as fibre optic broadband from other providers, such as BT
When it comes to overall customer satisfaction, which is based on the latest results of our Customer Satisfaction Survey, Sky scores four stars out of five. It scored well for the clarity of its pricing and billing, quality and reliability, online security features, quality of router, service activation and value for money, but not for speed.
Sky customers have told us that, while it provides good customer service and they rarely have problems, it’s expensive.
See our full Sky review for more.