Sky TV has announced a deal to buy Spark’s Lightbox streaming TV service, which is plans to merge with its streaming platform Neon.
Sky is still to confirm what the cost of the combined service will be, and whether they will continue to use Neon or Lightbox technology.
Sky chief partnership officer Sophie Moloney said the joined service would combine "all of the best features of Neon and Lightbox".
"We will announce details of the new service in 2020, including what it will be called, the full suite of excellent content, features and pricing options," Sky spokeswoman Kristy Martin said.
Lightbox is currently an attractive extra offered in certain plans to Spark broadband customers. So we will stay tuned to see how Spark update their offering to potential broadband customers.
Lightbox currently comes in a standard or “premium” version costing $12.99 or $15.99 per month, while Neon is currently priced at $13.95. Neither requires customers to sign a contract.
Neon has traditional screened movies and gritty US dramas popular on Sky’s SoHo channel. Lightbox tends to have a more diverse content mix based in a focus on European shows, and some big hits including The Handmaids Tale and Castle Rock.
Moloney say that customers can expect a transition period once the deal is completed, where customers can "continue to enjoy their respective services in the same way they do now".
Spark spokeswoman Ellie Cross said people who subscribed to Lightbox directly would then be automatically switched to the merged service.
She could not comment on whether customers who had an automatic payment set up to pay for Lightbox could be assured their bill would not rise, saying that was hypothetical.
Customers who got Lightbox "free" as part of a Spark bundle would continue to do so at least until the services were merged.
"After the transition period is completed, we are intending to partner with Sky so that the combined streaming entertainment service is available to customers through our broader entertainment offers on broadband and mobile." But she could not confirm that would be at no new cost.
If you are currently on a Spark broadband plan and enjoy the “perk” of a free streaming service, this may be a good time to start looking at different broadband plans that offer integrated streaming platforms.
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