Sky U.K. to Expand On-Demand Kids TV Content Sixfold

Lisa Rose/Nickelodeon

New deals with the likes of Viacom and Turner are part of a multi-million pound push as Netflix and other online platforms have also made children's programming a key focus.

Pan-European pay TV giant Sky said Thursday that it would vastly expand its one-demand kids TV content for subscribers in the U.K. and Ireland.

The number of episodes of family shows will increase from 700 to around 4,000 over the coming months, the company said. The move comes as Netflix and other online platforms have also made children's programming a key focus. "The 600 percent increase in programming follows a number of new deals signed with rights holders including Viacom and Turner that form part of a multi-million pound commitment to making Sky a leading destination for kids TV on demand," the company said.

Sky mentioned such kids shows as iCarly, from Viacom's Nickelodeon, and Adventure Time, from Time Warner-owned Turner's Cartoon Network, as being among the shows it was adding. It also promised "even more episodes of popular series like SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Horrible Histories and Ben 10."

"The ambitious changes mean that Sky’s on demand service will be home to more episodes of the most-watched kids’ shows than any other provider," the company said. 

Said Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky’s brand director of TV products: "I know from my own kids that they just want to watch their favorite TV characters, including Ben and Dora whenever they can. And parents want the convenience of a quick and simple way to access lots of episodes all in one place. That’s why we’re massively expanding the variety and number of shows available on demand."

The company is updating its home screen to provide easy access to the on-demand kids content from there. Sky recently said that almost 7 million customers in Britain and Ireland have connected to its on-demand services.

Twitter: @georgszalai