Sky’s streaming service, NOW (formerly known as NOW TV) will stop working on older Apple TV devices from May 27. Furthermore, there are upcoming billing changes for ALL Apple TV NOW subscribers, with subscriptions being automatically cancelled unless you take action.
NOW is Sky’s streaming TV service, with separate memberships for TV programmes (“Entertainment”), movies, kids and sports.
You stream it via the internet, but can still watch on the big screen with supported streaming devices, and you don’t need a long-term contract (see our full NOW guide and review, and here’s the explanation on why they’re no longer called NOW TV).
Recently, NOW launched a new Apple TV app, which also opened the way for better integration with Apple TV. However, in an e-mail sent to subscribers, NOW announced that their older Apple TV app will stop working next month:
At NOW, we’re dedicated to giving our members the best experience – which is why we’re thrilled to launch a brand new app on the latest Apple TV devices.
On 27 May, we’ll be switching off the old NOW app on Apple TV.
The bad news is that older Apple TV devices – namely, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations (which were introduced between 2007-2012), will NOT support the new NOW app.
That means that users of those older Apple TV streamers will no longer be able to watch NOW on their devices.
If you have the newer Apple TV HD (from 2015) or the Apple TV 4K (from 2017), you will be able to continue using NOW, but will have to install the new app (If you’re not sure which Apple TV device you have – check out this Apple page).
In addition, last week Apple announced a new version of the Apple TV 4K – which should support the new NOW app. One thing to note, is that the new NOW Apple TV app doesn’t support Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, even if you subscribe to the NOW Boost add-on.
Some NOW / Apple TV users have already taken to social media to protest the change. This is similar to when NOW’s old ‘White Box’ streaming device stopped working last year – though back then, existing users were offered discounts for a new device.
NOW Billing For Apple TV Users Is Changing
With the older NOW app, Apple TV users were able to subscribe to the service via iTunes.
Starting May 27, with the discontinuation of the old app, iTunes subscriptions will no longer be supported – and those who have existing NOW subscriptions will see their memberships automatically cancelled.
At that point, users will have to go directly to the NOW TV website, create an account, and sign up with a new payment method. From that point on, charges will appear on your monthly card statement as a payment directly to NOW, rather than iTunes.
This change puts NOW in line with many other streaming services on Apple TV, that require direct subscription through the company’s own website, rather than via iTunes – since otherwise, Apple takes a cut of the subscription fee you’re paying.
Alternative NOW Streaming Devices
If you’re still using an older Apple TV device, starting May 27 you will need to find a new solution for your NOW membership.
The good news is that NOW is supported on most of the streaming devices and Smart TVs in the UK, including:
- Google Chromecast (The older version – NOT the new Google TV version)
- Apple TV HD or 4K
- Samsung Smart TVs
- NOW’s own Smart Stick
There are also NOW apps for mobile phones (both iOS and Android), and you can watch directly on your PC/MAC desktop via the browser.