back to article Sky confirms Picnic pick 'n' mix

Sky today made a cunningly-timed announcement 'fessing up to its new "Picnic" offering that will let non-satellite customers join its broadband network and terrestrial TV viewers receive its pay TV channels. Subject to clearing regulatory hurdles, the new venture will launch in the new year as a separate business with its own …


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  1. Iain Croll

    SKY smooth roll out?

    I hate to say it but if you look at the broadband message boards SKY has had anything but a smooth roll out. I waited almost 4 months using 3 MAC codes and numerous calls per week to 'Customer Service' before giving up trying to get connected to their broadband service.

  2. Oliver Benson


    "...Sky's own smooth rollout of broadband for its TV customers..."

    Sorry? Did you take that straight out of the Sky press release?

    We has massive problems trying to take up the free Sky offer; despite being loyal and generous Sky subscribers. They kept fobbing us off with all sorts of problems; BT hadn't fixed the line, BT needed to install new equipment, etc etc.

    We ended up waiting best part of three months for the service, which despite promises that it would be a maximum of three weeks, never materialised. Moreover, Sky never got in touch to explain what was going on.

    Meanwhile, conversations with BT to verify the "problems with your line" confirmed what we thought: Sky simply couldn't handle the demand and plenty of other consumers were having problems with Sky.

    In the end phoned up BT Broadband, who fitted the broadband within ten days and without a problem.

    Sky may not have been as bad as others but they were far from "smooth".

    PS. Do Sky really believe that people are going to ditch their existing Freeview boxes just to get one that they can watch SkyNews/SkySportsNews on? I'd quite happily put money on three years down the line SkyNews being once again made free-to-air.

  3. Joe

    Freeview no longer free then?

    Aren't those frequencies meant for free-to-air channels? What if all the broadcasters suddenly decided to change to some other compression codec and sell their own receivers? Will Ofcom allow it?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smooth as silk

    The vast majority (high 90%s) of Sky broadband installs occur bang on time, or < 10 days from order.

    The early days of ADSL LLU and Option 4 provision were hampered by BT Openreach and BT Wholesale who had no commercial interest and had to be beaten up by OFCOM. They still need the heavy hand of regulation to comply, even today. Thus problems do occur but are in the minority - as any LLU provider will tell you. Individual install/delivery problems are bound to occur.

    Message boards are generally occupied by the disaffected and do not offer a true reflection of the broad reality. Anyone who has had to deal with BT Openreach or Wholesale will know the issues faced. How the market survives in such a provisioning model is a miracle in itself. Anyone recall the Talk Talk launch problems? BT nearly killed them off with its EMP provisioning system. CPW's reputation was in the gutter thanks to BT, damage to the brand was heavy.

    The common factor in almost all tales of ADSL woe is that old monopoly that to this day complies with UK law kicking and screaming all of the way. Atrocious.

  5. David Hicklin Bronze badge

    Re: Smooth as silk

    My move from Virgin to Sky went very smoothly indeed & I am very happy with the service.

    There was a delay for phone/broadband but that was down to BT being swamped with new line installations. Even better now that LLU is in place (it wasn't at first).

  6. Richard Preston a baby's bottom?

    I can only echo the opinions of those who've had a good experience with Sky's broadband service. Since moving from PlusNet, where service dropouts, lost mail, and strangulated bandwidth were depressingly common, we have had absolutely no problems with Sky. Superb service all round.

  7. Matthew

    @Oliver Benson

    "Do Sky really believe that people are going to ditch their existing Freeview boxes just to get one that they can watch SkyNews/SkySportsNews on?"

    Sure, why not? A basic Freeview box costs less than one months' Sky satellite charges - and if the replacement boxes are keenly priced or offer extra features people will 'ditch their existing Freeview boxes'.

    My existing Humax box can accept TopUpTV but I didn't think the line-up of channels justified the cost. But with Sky1 and the rest it would be TopUpTV's killer app. It would make a lot more sense for Sky just to buy them out...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...A basic Freeview box...

    ...My existing Humax box...

    I see a contradiction here - i.e. those of us with more sophisticated things, such as Freeview PVRs, will be more reticent to ditch them just to receive a couple of channels of crap from Sky. And you can bet that it will be a while before there is a £10 MPEG4-capable receiver.

  9. SImon Hobson

    And don't forget ...

    We are NOT talking of 'standard' freeview here - this will be a "buy our closed box to see Sky channels" deal, so don't expect there to be any chance of getting these channels on non-Sky boxes (especially those expensive PVRs that many people have).

    Think Sky+ box (with all it's restrictions), but with a freeview tuner.

  10. Thomas Jerome


    It's simply not worth it for repeat episodes of the Simpons (complete with ad breaks after the title sequence) 24 and Lost, which both dissapeared up their own poo pipes after one plot twist too many, and as for Battlestar, well, you can pretty much pick up every box set sans season 4 for about £20 in (ironically enough) your Virgin Megastore.

    TV sucks anyway, why would you pay a subscription fee for 500 channels of more suckage, when you can buy/download/stream what you want pretty much when you want to watch it?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bet it's not available in wales

    nothing's available in wales. No freeview here, we don't even get channel 4 for god's sake.

    most days consist of...

    BBC1 - 24 hours of cooking & selling houses

    BBC2 - sports match

    ITV - trash trash trash

    S4C - exactly the same sports match as BBC2, but in welsh

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