Sky TV customers could receive Netflix or Amazon Prime with their subscription in the future, if the pay TV company follows Sky in Britain.

Sky in the UK has sealed an agreement to offer Netflix via its Sky Q set-top box, in a major shift in the media landscape.

The deal would allow Sky Q households in the UK to add Netflix to their monthly subscription sometime in the next year.

Viewers who already have a separate Netflix account would be able to bundle it into their bill.


The new partnership is a landmark for both Sky and Netflix.

Britain's Sky no longer has any ownership connection with Sky TV in New Zealand, but chief executive John Fellet has not ruled out copying what the UK giant is doing and said he has had discussions with other content providers.

Sky TV has also previously partnered with the likes of TVNZ, Mediaworks, Maori TV, Spark and Vodafone.

Investment advisor Jeremy Sullivan from Hamilton Hindin Greene said while anything was possible, a partnership similar to Sky's in the UK was unlikely in New Zealand.

"Sky TV obviously could partner with them and bundle everything up and on-sell it, but I wonder from an Amazon or Netflix perspective why you would bother," Sullivan said.

"If you were such a threat to them, then you might as well continue on as you are and let them go by the wayside.

"If it was to happen I think it would be Sky going cap in hand to them rather than the other way around."

A Sky spokesperson said such a partnership with Amazon Prime or Netflix would be dependent on a technology upgrade involving new set-top boxes and software from United States company Cisco.

This could be a year away.

The deal in the UK marks the first time that Sky has allowed a rival subscription television service to piggyback on its heavy investment in set-top boxes.

Executives have dropped their opposition as Netflix's US$8 billion ($11b) a year and rising programming budget puts pressure on Sky's pay-TV stronghold.

Sky has responded with increased investment in its own original dramas but recent financial reports have suggested mounting pressure on its core pay-TV business as more Britons take cheaper streaming options.

A deal with Netflix ensures high profile Netflix series such as The Crown and Star Trek: Discovery are available via Sky Q and should reduce the risk of frustrated subscribers cancelling their contracts.

Netflix has made the breakthrough following rapid growth. Since its UK debut in 2012 it has reached an estimated 7.5 million UK households.

Progress has slowed, however, and simpler access to Sky living rooms could unlock new growth across Europe.

Sky Q is the operator's latest flagship set-top box, which relies heavily on internet connectivity to deliver more content on demand and suggest programmes based on viewers' interests.

It is currently in around two million British homes, but Sky aims to upgrade its entire UK base of around 8.8 million satellite subscribers in the next few years.

It is also rolling out Sky Q in Italy and Germany.

- Additional reporting Daily Telegraph UK