(Pocket-lint) - We now know why Sky has been quiet in publicising the availability of Sky Anytime+ to customers of ISPs other than Sky Broadband, it's been too busy preparing the news that the broadcaster is launching a sister television brand and rival to Netflix, Lovefilm and Knowhow Movies - NOW TV.
Coming in summer 2012, the new service will be the home of Sky's pay-as-you-go internet TV platform, which will offer the wealth of Sky original and bought content to non-Sky subscribers via PC, Mac, tablet, mobile phones, games console or connected TV. Initially, that will be restricted to Sky Movies, but will soon after include sports and entertainment shows.
Unlike the current Sky satellite platform (or Sky Go), NOW TV will be available to anybody with a compatible device and with no minimum term or spend contract. There will be a variety of payment options, including pay-as-you-go for content rental and pay monthly schemes for those who want unlimited access to Sky Movies, for example.
The service will be video streaming over internet only, although there's no indication yet on whether that will include Full HD (1080p) and 5.1 audio as available on Knowhow and Netflix. More details will be released closer to its launch.
Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch believes that the creation of a brand new service will not dillute the company's existing satellite offering, and will bring in a new customer base who, perhaps, can't receive Sky conventionally.
"The launch of a second brand is an exciting opportunity for us and the rationale is very simple," he said during his keynote speech at the Guardian Changing Media Summit in London.
"Having two brands will allow us to meet the needs and preferences of different customer segments more effectively.
“We’ll offer two distinctive ways to watch: the full Sky service for the whole family, complete with the widest range of channels, high quality products like Sky+, HD and Sky Go, and the peace of mind of a monthly bill; or the flexible, more spontaneous, pay-as-you-go service of NOW TV.
"Today, we know that around 13 million homes don’t yet take pay TV from any provider. So we can reach out to them and offer them another way to access and watch our content,” he added.
Would you be willing to pay for an internet only TV service? Let us know in the comments below..