Sky, the U.K.’s largest pay-TV broadcaster, is to cut 1,000 jobs as consumers move from satellite TV to streaming.
The layoffs will mainly be among the technicians who install Sky equipment in homes. According to The Financial Times, which first reported the news, Sky employs some 27,000 people in the U.K., which means that the layoffs will affect 4% of staff.
In 2021, Sky unveiled Sky Glass, an almost entirely wireless television that can be installed swiftly and only requires an internet connection to operate — dispensing with the need for a satellite dish or cable box. The service amalgamates shows and films from each different streaming service in one place, allowing users to search by title or category without having to log into each one separately, including Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Sky’s own Now service, among others. It also allows users to seamlessly watch shows where seasons are split between different streaming services due to licensing constraints.
In addition, Sky also launched Sky Stream, a streaming device that allows content to be streamed straight to any TV over any WiFi, without the need for an engineer installation visit.
“The launch of Sky Glass and Sky Stream represents a shift in our business to deliver TV over IP [an internet connection] rather than satellite. Increasingly, customers are choosing Sky Glass and Sky Stream which don’t require specialist installation, and that has led us to change the number of roles we need to deliver our services,” a Sky spokesperson said.
The Sky layoffs come at a time when the U.K. media industry is in upheaval. Public service broadcaster Channel 4 is proposing to shed 18% of its workforce in a move to digital by 2030. The BBC is facing a funding gap of $113 million.
Plans for Sky Studios Elstree to create 2,000 jobs remain intact, Variety understands.