Sky Cinema deals
By Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Tuesday, April 2nd 2019
In this guide
- What is Sky Cinema?
- What does Sky Cinema offer?
- How to get Sky Cinema
- What else does Sky offer?
- Frequently asked questions
Sky Cinema, and before it Sky Movies, has been a staple of the British TV scene for years. But how do you get it? And what do you actually get for your money if you choose to sign up? We have the answers.
What is Sky Cinema?
Sky Cinema is a collection of subscription film channels and on-demand movies that can be added to the basic Sky Entertainment TV service. It is also available to BT TV, Virgin Media TV and TalkTalk TV customers as an add-on, and via the streaming service NOW TV.
The service was launched in 1989 as Sky Movies and changed its channel line-up numerous times before rebranding as Sky Cinema in 2016.
What does Sky Cinema offer?
Sky only really refers to Sky Cinema in terms of its headline features, so let’s have a look at them, one at a time.
- 11 dedicated channels – Sky Cinema offers 11 channels, the majority showing movies from a particular genre. At the time of writing these are called Premiere, Hits, Superhero, Disney, Family, Action, Comedy, Thriller, Drama, Horror and Select, although they are often temporarily rebranded in honour of an event, season or movie release.
- Movies on demand – As well as the traditional channels, Sky Cinema gives you access to more than 1,000 movies on demand. These are grouped into various categories and range from old classics to new releases.
- A premiere every day – Sky Cinema shows a new movie premiere every day on, you guessed it, the Premiere channel. Films shown as premieres are also available to watch on demand.
- Movies in HD – All of the films on Sky Cinema are available to watch in HD and there are HD versions of all of the Sky Cinema channels. We’re pointing this out because for some other Sky channels, you have to pay extra to watch in HD.
- Sky Cinema app – The Sky Cinema app is available to Sky TV and Virgin Media TV customers who also subscribe to Sky Cinema. It lets you choose from Sky Cinema’s full list of on demand movies and download films to your device to watch on the go.
- Sky Cinema Originals – In a bid to catch up with rivals like Netflix and Amazon, Sky started acquiring exclusive rights and commissioning original films in 2018. Films released under the Sky Cinema Originals tag are available for Sky Cinema customers to watch at home on the same day they are released in the cinema.
- Pop-up channels – As well as its main line-up of channels, or sometimes temporarily taking the place of an existing channel, Sky Cinema occasionally launches a ‘pop-up’ channel or movie collection to celebrate a major film release, event or season.
How to get Sky Cinema
Sky Cinema is often thought of purely as something you can add to a Sky TV subscription. It is that, but there are other ways of getting Sky Cinema if you get your TV service from another provider. A word of warning, though: Adding Sky Cinema on Virgin, BT or TalkTalk costs a bit more than it does on Sky TV, so unless it’s already included in the package, consider getting a NOW TV Sky Cinema Pass instead.
Sky Cinema on Sky TV
Adding Sky Cinema on Sky TV is fairly simple. If you’re a new customer you’ll need to start with Sky Entertainment as this is the basis of all Sky TV packages, then add Sky Cinema to your basket. The monthly cost of both Sky Entertainment and Sky Cinema will go up after 18 months.
If you’re already a Sky TV customer, you can add Sky Cinema to your package but this will mean starting a new 18-month minimum term on your TV subscription.
Sky Cinema on Virgin Media TV
Virgin Media customers can add Sky Cinema to their TV package and get all the same benefits as Sky TV customers, including the Sky Cinema app. Sky Cinema is included as standard in some of Virgin’s TV packages including the Full House Movies bundle and the VIP bundle.
Sky Cinema on BT TV
You can add Sky Cinema to your BT TV subscription but how many features you get depends on the type of broadband you have. BT TV customers with standard broadband can only access the on-demand part of the service, with the 11 Sky Cinema channels available only to BT fibre broadband and TV customers.
Sky Cinema on TalkTalk TV
TalkTalk classes Sky Cinema as one of its flexible TV boosts, which can be added to your TV package and then as TalkTalk says "switched on and off" whenever you like.
NOW TV Sky Cinema Pass
The most flexible way of watching Sky Cinema is to get a NOW TV Sky Cinema pass, as you can cancel whenever you like. You get all the features of Sky Cinema except for the Sky Cinema app, but this is hardly a problem as you’ll be able to watch on any device that supports the NOW TV app.
What else does Sky offer?
Sky Cinema isn’t the only thing you can add to a basic Sky Entertainment TV subscription. Here’s a breakdown of the other options, each of which costs an additional monthly fee and some of which come with their own minimum term contract.
- Broadband – There are two Sky broadband packages – Broadband Unlimited, which promises average speeds of 11Mbps, and Fibre Max, which offers 63Mbps. Both come with 18-month contracts.
- Sky Sports – You can add the Complete Sports Pack to get all of the Sky Sports channels or just choose one or two to give you the sporting fix you need. There’s dedicated channels for the Premier League, football, golf, cricket and F1.
- Ultimate On Demand – This combines the old Sky Box Sets with Netflix, saving you a couple of quid on the price of getting both separately. There’s more than 500 box sets to watch on demand as well as everything Netflix has to offer.
- Kids Pack – The Kids Pack features 11 dedicated kids channels including the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, as well as more than 5,000 episodes available to watch on demand.
- HD Pack – The basic Sky Entertainment package only comes with a handful of HD channels. In order to watch popular channels like Sky Atlantic and Sky One in HD you’ll need to add the HD pack.
- Sky Mobile – Sky Mobile isn’t only available to Sky TV customers, but they do get more out of it. This includes the ability to stream Sky TV on your Sky Mobile without using any data.
- Sky Go – Sky Go lets you watch your Sky TV content on your phone or tablet – that’s live channels and on-demand stuff. To watch on two devices concurrently and have the ability to download programmes onto your device, you’ll need Sky Go Extra, which costs a few pounds a month.
- Spotify – New Sky TV customers get Spotify free for three months. If you don’t cancel it after three months, the subscription will simply be adding to your Sky bill. The Spotify app is now on Sky Q, so you can play your music straight through your TV.
Frequently asked questions
Can you get Sky Cinema on Sky Go?
Yes, you can access the Sky Cinema channels and movies on demand through Sky Go, as long as these are part of your Sky TV package. Alternatively, you can download the dedicated Sky Cinema app.
Do you need internet for Sky Cinema?
If you have Sky TV delivered via an aerial, you’ll be able to watch the 11 Sky Cinema channels but will not be able to access the on-demand features without an internet connection. You do need an internet connection to get Sky Cinema via BT TV, Virgin Media TV, TalkTalk TV or a NOW TV pass.
Can you cancel Sky Cinema at any time?
This depends on how you signed up for Sky Cinema in the first place. As an addition to Sky Entertainment on Sky TV it comes with an 18-month minimum contract so you’ll probably have to pay a fee if you cancel early.
If you get Sky Cinema as a NOW TV pass or as a TalkTalk TV add-on then there’s no minimum term and so yes, you can cancel whenever you like.
Are Sky Movies and Sky Cinema the same thing?
Sky Cinema is the new name for Sky Movies. The service used to be called Sky Movies but was rebranded in 2016.