Pro-Premium Sky Sports News Goes Free On iPad

Sky Sports News may have been going increasingly premium this summer, going off free-to-air and in to pay-TV bundles with its new HD channel. But, on iPad, it’s a different story…

The channel has just launched a tablet app that’s free, despite including on-demand video cut from the live channel and a host of reports, scores and tables.

The app could push some premium payments – alongside a full live stream of the Sky Sports News radio station (who knew?), a live TV option is available but requires the Sky Mobile TV app, which, on iPad, requires a £17.50-a-month subscription (from January, this is rising to £35-a-month).

The decision to make the Sky Sports News app free is not so bizarre – after all, Sky Sports’ news website remains free to use, even if on-site advertising is limited to a few low-key offers and sponsorships.

But some operators, including other divisions of BSkyB (NYSE: BSY), are regarding iPad as a super-premium charging opportunity (case in point – the high monthly cost of the Sky Mobile TV app).

Some observers wonder whether Sky News or its website will go paid. But, unlike Sky Sports News, which is comfortably being rolled in to BSkyB’s Sky Sports bundle, there’s no logical Sky-branded bouquet in to which BSkyB could put its news channel.