Claire Nottage | January 19th, 2022

Sky Signature explained: Costs, channels & features

There can be no doubt about the fact that Sky TV still reigns supreme as the king of subscription TV. Its core package of popular channels has had a number of names over the years, from Sky Original to the more recent Sky Entertainment. Its most recent name is Sky Signature, an appropriate description for its /collection of famously good TV channels.

Sky Signature

From Sky Atlantic and Sky Max (the recently renamed Sky One) to Sky Documentaries and Sky Witness, Sky Signature offers the best of TV available in the UK. Customers can choose to bolt on extras such as Sky Sports and Sky Cinema, and get free access to both Sky Box Sets and a Netflix Basic subscription.

If you are looking for an excellent pack of TV entertainment, you can’t go far wrong with Sky Signature. With the option to add on Sky Sports, Sky Cinema as well as Disney+ and BT Sport, Sky Signature offers a comprehensive and flexible TV package that you can adapt to your own requirements. We’ve taken a look at exactly what’s included.

Prices from £26 per month
Channels 300+ channels
Packages TV only, TV & broadband
Extras Netflix, Sky Sports, BT Sport, HD/UHD, Sky Cinema, Sky Kids, Disney+, Multiscreen
Box Sky Q box
Contract length 18 months

What is Sky Signature?

Sky Signature is the new name for Sky’s core TV package which comes on an 18-month subscription basis. It is accessible as part of a Sky TV package and requires either a Sky Q TV box and a satellite dish on your home, or the latest Sky Glass TV system.

Sky Signature comes with around 300 channels, and now also encapsulates Sky Box Sets – previously only available as an add-on. Customers can watch hundreds of TV shows on demand, from classics such as The Sopranos and The Wire to more recent successes including Westworld and Billions.

Sky Signature is also available to buy with a base Netflix subscription – this is known as the Sky Ultimate package. The basic Netflix subscription allows you full access to the Netflix catalogue but only on one device at a time, whether that’s your TV, a laptop or a games console. Customers can choose to upgrade at their own expense in order to be able to watch on more than one device at a time.

Channels

Sky Signature comes with around 300 channels, covering a huge range of taste and interests. Although approximately half that number are available on Freeview, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, there are around 150 others that are not, that provide the very best of drama, sport and film, all wrapped up in the Sky Signature package.

Entertainment channels

Along with the documentary channels, the entertainment channels form the overwhelming majority of a Sky TV subscription and amongst the less impressive channels, you will also find jewels such as the coveted Sky Atlantic, which shows some of the best drama available on UK TV, including Game of Thrones, Tin Star, Riviera, Chernobyl and Westworld to name but a few.

You will also get Sky Max – the new name for Sky One. Sky Max shows include dramas such as A Discovery of Witches. The Flight Attendant and COBRA, alongside popular comedy shows such as A League of Their Own and new Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Other great channels include Sky Showcase, featuring a selection of the best of Sky programming; Sky Comedy, which shows the best US comedies, such as Will and Grace, Ballers and The Office; and Sky Witness, home to legal thrillers and medical and crime dramas.

Documentary channels

Sky Signature is rich in documentary TV shows with 15 channels available in total. With its own channels, Sky History, Sky Crime, Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature, as well as a selection of popular channels from National Geographic and Discovery, there is something for everyone, from animals to true crime.

Sky Documentaries offers a fascinating array of programmes, from biographies on famous names such as Hillary Clinton and Tiger Woods, to musical retrospectives including Hitsville: The Making of Motown and Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men. There are also insightful investigations of the livelihoods and experiences of lesser known individuals around the world, such as Honeyland – the story of a struggling beekeeper in Macedonia.

Sports channels

Although you have to pay extra for the full Sky Sports pack, Sky does include three Sky Sports channels in Sky Signature that are not subject to additional subscription fees, namely, Sky Sports News, Sky Sports Racing and Sky Sports Mix, the latter of which shows football, international cricket and golf from Europe and the US, amongst other things.

Also included in Sky Signature are Eurosport 1 and 2, which show coverage of Grand Slam tennis, European Athletics Championships, World Snooker Championships, Le Mans, cycling Grand Tour and much more.

Asian channels

Sky is the leader when it comes to offering Asian channels, with 15 currently included in the Sky Signature pack. Customers can enjoy drama and popular reality shows as well as films, news and music on channels from Zee TV, Colors, Sony, B4U and Utsav.

Music channels

Lovers of MTV will be happy to know that Sky still airs four channels: MTV Base, MTV Hits, MTV Music and MTV Classic. So whether you like a bit of smooth jazz, grime and rap, or chart hits, there are the sounds for you.

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Extras

Whereas Sky previously offered an array of different fixed bundles to potential customers with names such as Sky Variety and Sky Original, it now keeps things simpler. With Sky Signature as the base offering, customers can choose to bolt on various different extras, from UHD to Sky Sports.

Netflix

So popular is Netflix, that Sky have decided to capitalise on this, and actually offer a Netflix Basic subscription as a free extra to a Sky Signature package. Incredibly, there is no additional cost; adding Netflix to Sky Signature essentially just changes the package name to Sky Ultimate.

Netflix Basic gives you the ability to watch Netflix on one device at a time (and it doesn’t have to be your TV). Customers wanting a bit more flexibility and the option to watch it on more than one screen at a time, can choose to upgrade to Netflix Standard or Netflix Premium if they wish.

Read our Netflix review

Sky Sports

The ever-popular Sky Sports can be added to Sky Signature for an extra monthly fee and comes on an 18-month contract. With eleven channels dedicated to a whole host of sporting brilliance, from Formula 1 to top-flight Premier League games, as well as cricket, golf, rugby and much more, it is an indispensable extra for any sports fan. Happily Sky Sports now comes in HD as standard, but if you want to watch in UHD, you will need to pay for the UHD add-on.

Find out more about Sky Sports

BT Sport

As well as Sky Sports, customers can also choose to bolt on BT Sport to Sky Signature in order to get the full set of football. Whereas Sky Sports dominates control of the Premier League, BT Sport has exclusive right to the UEFA Champions League. There is also live coverage of The Ashes, and UFC and boxing fans will enjoy the access to BoxNation that is also included.

BT Sport is available as a monthly add-on; there is no requirement for a long contract so you can choose to add or remove it when you want.

Sky Cinema

Sky Cinema comes on an 18-month contract as an extra. Not only do you get access to all Sky’s cinema channels, from the latest releases to classic thrillers, family films, sci-fi and more, but customers also automatically get 20% discount on Sky Store rentals – should there be that one film that you absolutely have to watch.

Sky HD/Sky UHD

If you have a 4K UHD-ready TV and want to make the most of it, then you will have to take Sky’s Ultra HD + HD. Ultra HD is available for certain shows on a large number of Sky channels, including Sky Atlantic, Sky Max and Sky Witness. Sports fans will be able to enjoy BT Sport Ultimate which is broadcast in 4K.

If you are just looking to add HD to your viewing options, then you can buy the Sky HD pack on its own, without UHD. Both UDH+ HD and HD alone come on a rolling one-month contract, so you can cancel at any time.

Sky Kids

A great option for families with younger children, SKy KIds includes six premium kids’ channels: Boomerang, Cartoonito, Cartoon Network and three Nickelodeon channels. Keep the little ones happy with their favourite TV characters, including Peppa Pig, Tom and Jerry, the Thundermans and SpongeBob. Sky Kids is offered on a one-month rolling contract so you can cancel at any time, although with it only costing a fiver a month you may decide the peace is worth the money on an ongoing basis.

Multiscreen

Customers wanting to enjoy their Sky content on more than one TV may want to consider adding Multiscreen to Sky Signature. For an extra monthly fee, Sky will provide you with a Sky Q mini box. The mini boxes allow you to watch all your Sky channels on a second TV. You cannot record or watch in full HD, but you can access anything you have recorded on your main Sky Q box. Multiscreen involves an 18-month commitment.

You can choose to add up to three Sky Q mini boxes, but the second and third will cost you an extra £99 each. When you bear in mind that you cannot watch on more than two at once you may decide its not worth the cost. Also, all Multiscreen subscribers will be able to use the Sky Go Extra app at no extra cost. This enables you to watch your Sky services on up to four devices at once – from smartphones to games consoles.

Disney+

For even more entertainment, Sky Signature customers can choose to bolt on a Disney+ subscription. As well as Marvel , Star Wars, Pixar and Disney classics, it is also home to Star, where you will find more adult drama, such as Love Victor, Gray’s Anatomy and Modern Family. Disney+ comes on a one-month rolling contract so once you have watched all the latest episodes of the Mandalorian you can choose to cancel it for a while – if you want.

Sky Signature with Sky Broadband

Although it is possible to get Sky Signature without broadband, you won’t be able to enjoy the benefits offered by the Sky Q box, including accessing any of the on demand TV services.

Sky offers several broadband speeds to go with its TV services, depending on availability at your address. Its standard fibre service, known as Sky Superfast, is widely available and comes with an average download speed of 59Mbps. You may find you can also get Sky Ultrafast, or Sky Ultrafast Plus, with average download speeds of 145Mbps and 500Mbps respectively.

For those who cannot get any fibre service as yet, Sky offers its Broadband Essential service, with download speeds average 10Mbps – still sufficient to enjoy your Sky Signature TV service.

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Alternatives

Sky isn’t the only TV provider on the block, although it is still one of the best. However, if you are dubious about signing up for an 18-month contract, it might be worth looking at NOW TV Entertainment instead, which comes with all the best channels available with Sky Signature.

NOW TV offers the best of Sky but without any long commitment – all its packages come on a rolling one-month basis so you can stop and start your subscription as often as you like. You can watch NOW TV on any compatible device, from a smart TV to a smartphone. Simply download the NOW TV app and set up your account.

Sky channels are also available with BT TV (again, in the form of a NOW TV Entertainment package) and with Virgin Media TV, although bear in mind that Sky still do not allow their main competitor the rights to show Sky Atlantic. So if you want to be able to watch Fortitude, The Leftovers, Chernobyl, and many of the other superb TV shows available, you will need to stick to Sky or NOW TV.

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Frequently asked questions

How much does Sky Signature cost?

At the time of writing, Sky’s base TV package costs £26 per month without any extras.

Can I add Amazon Prime Video to Sky Signature?

No, you cannot add Amazon Prime Video to Sky Signature, but it is available to download and watch on the Sky Q box. Note that it will also require a separate subscription fee.

Can I watch Sky Signature away from home?

Yes. Using the Sky Go or Sky Go Extra app, you can watch your Sky content when you are out and about. It will work over 4G but it is advisable to use wifi wherever possible to preserve your data allowance.

Can I get Sky Signature without broadband?

You can get Sky TV without a broadband connection, but you won’t be able to watch any on demand programmes, or benefit from streaming services such as a Netflix or Disney+.

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