Sky Italia Plugs in ‘Roku Powered’ Service

Launches Sky Online TV Box
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Sky Italia has launched a Roku-powered OTT service, a debut that follows similar Sky/Roku combos introduced in the U.K., Germany and Austria.

In those instances, Sky, a significant Roku investor, is tapping into the Roku Powered program, a licensing initiative launched last fall in which pay TV operators tap Roku hardware and customized interfaces to deliver apps and services to the TV.

In Italy, the Sky Online TV Box allows users to access content from Sky Online and other  streaming services and apps such as Spotify, Vimeo, Red Bull TV, Vevo, and Facebook.  Sky Italia is selling the device online for €49.99 (US$55.58), and is including two months of Sky Movies and Entertainment. In Italy, Sky Online had been offered only on browsers, tablets and select gaming consoles and smart TVs, according to Advanced Television.

“Pay-TV in Italy still has wide growth margins and with Sky Online TV Box we think we’ll be able to reach out an even broader Italian audience and bring them a selection of Sky’s quality content, those we have been delivering for 12 years, by addressing new and different audience targets from the families who choose to subscribe to Sky to enjoy the most engaging and richest viewing experience in Italy,” Sky Italia CEO Andrea Zappia said, in a statement.

Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku, recently spoke to Multichannel News about the Roku Powered  program and other company initiatives and industry trends. That Q&A will appear in the Next TV section of the June 1 issue of Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable