Bloomberg reports that UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB is working together with US firm Roku to build a set-top box that can deliver its new over-the-top (OTT) video service ‘Now TV’.
Roku’s chief executive Anthony Wood is quoted as saying that the new device will enable Now TV customers to access the service on their television, with all the movies, live sports and other content this will eventually entail (so far the service only offers Sky Movies).
Re-opening up the debate about the future of the set-top box – and whether they will eventually disappear, to be replaced by Smart TVs – Wood comments: “The market is still new. TVs are going to be more like monitors, and then you’ll have a box”.
We contacted BSkyB this morning, who referred us to the US$10mn equity investment it made in Roku earlier this year, and the previous confirmation that Now TV will appear on Roku’s streaming devices.
In a year-end press release issued by BSkyB over the summer, the company indicated that the equity stake also gives Sky the option to rebrand and distribute versions of Roku’s streaming devices in the future, should it wish to complement the OTT distribution it currently receives over third-party platforms.
The BSkyB spokesman also told us that there is some early stage development work taking place to explore the potential of rebranding Roku’s boxes, but added that it is “too early to discuss any specific launch plans”.