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Yesterday was a fantastic day for shareholders in Sky Television.
Management announced a daring new plan to stream their pay-TV content via this new thing called "the Internet".
Apparently, this breakthrough technology, combined with Sky's endless supply of up-to-date, relevant, super-affordable content will mean that the company will once again enjoy the heady heights of broadcast supremacy that it has in previous years.
Unlike some of its lesser competitors, including a little-known player called "Netflix", the new Sky Internet TV service will be available on 12 or 24-month contract. Netflix offers no such convenience and only provides its service on a month-to-month basis which, I'm sure Sky will be quick to point out, means customers ought not rely on them being around for the long-term.
Sky's new service is being launched in partnership with Vodafone, the telco which has brought new meaning to the worlds "all our customer service representatives are busy right now" and whose world-leading approach to managing their email service has sent ripples through the industry.
Customers concerned about price need not be. It would appear that the cost of the service via Internet will be no less than the service provided by satellite which must surely be good news for users and shareholders alike.
As with the satellite service, users of the new Internet TV system will have the added bonus of getting all the "base package" channels for one simple monthly payment -- even if they don't want them. Additional channels (like the ones they really want) are only a small king's ransom extra -- totaling around $800 a year in the case of the sports offerings.
When asked why customers of the new service couldn't pick just the channels they want from the huge array on offer, Sky reminded people that it's good to try things that you might not think you're interested in and that they should think of the basic package as a bonus, not a burden.
Aficionados of the mini-programmes which screen between features will be overjoyed to learn that these vignettes (sometimes called "ads") will be a prominent part of the Internet TV experience offered by Sky.
"We are aware that these mini-programmes have a huge following on the satellite service so we would not want to deprive customers of the online service" an unnamed spokesman is rumoured to have said.
But what about repeats?
Yes, all those tired old programmes from the 1990s that you've already seen a thousand times before on the Discovery Channel will be out in full force.
"There's no need to waste time assimilating new information" we're told. "The encore performances of some timeless classics will keep customers feeling comfortable and offer a feeling of familiarity" we were told.
So there you have it -- a great day for everyone!
Shareholders can be reassured that, once again, Sky is on the cutting edge of technology, thrusting wannabes like Apple TV and Netflix aside as it surges to the forefront of home entertainment.
Customers can be happy that they'll still be getting the fantastic assortment of tired old content, liberally drenched in inane advertisements and self-promotions.
And I'm pretty sure that new customers (phfffft!) will be offered ground-breaking discounts and deals that loyal, long-term users of SkyTV will never have access to.
Way to go SkyTV!
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