Sky Cinema Box Office

This article is about the UK PPV system. For the New Zealand PPV system, see Sky Box Office (New Zealand).
Sky Box Office
Launched 16 March 1996
Owned by Sky plc
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.01% (Sports)
~0.00% (Movies) (September 2015 (2015-09), BARB)
Country United Kingdom
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Formerly called Sky Box Office (1996–2011)
Sister channel(s) Challenge,
Real Lives,
Sky 1,
Sky 2,
Sky Arts,
Sky Atlantic,
Sky Cinema,
Sky Living,
Sky News,
Sky Sports,
Sky Sports F1,
Sky Sports News HQ
Sky Channel 491 (Sports)
Channel 492 (Sports HD)
Channels 700–715, 743, 744 (Cinema)
Channel 752 (Cinema HD)

Sky Box Office is the name of Sky plc's pay-per-view (PPV) system. There are three branded divisions of Sky Box Office – Sky Cinema Box Office, Sky Sports Box Office and Sky 3D Box Office. Until 1 February 2011, the system ran under unified Sky Box Office branding.


Sky Box Office launched on 16 March 1996 on Sky Analogue. At the time it carried mainly sporting events, such as major boxing fights. The first of these was Frank Bruno's WBC World Heavyweight Championship defence against Mike Tyson. Initially events were ordered by telephone, either on the day of broadcast for £14.95 or in advance at a reduced price of £9.99. Ordering an event charged the viewer and then the subscriber's VideoCrypt viewing card would be activated over the air, enabling the viewing of the broadcast. The charge would be levied unless the viewer cancelled prior to broadcast, or returned the viewing card as proof that the event hadn't been watched.

Four dedicated Sky Box Office channels were launched on 1 December 1997 on Sky Analogue. At this time multiple showings of selected movies, shown in advance of their broadcast on Sky's existing subscription movie channels, were added. Initial movies included The Long Kiss Goodnight and Courage Under Fire. However, at least one hour pre-ordering was required, and for most movies one purchase at £2.99 only bought one viewing.

With the move to Sky Digital in 1998, where the Sky Digibox provided a data return path, events and movies – the latter now copy protected – could be bought minutes before or even during the event either by telephone or through an on-screen menu and PIN system.

A range of pay-per-view 3-D films were also screened on Sky 3D.

Logo of Sky Movies Box Office.

On 1 February 2011, Sky Box Office was rebranded as Sky Movies Box Office for Movies.[1] Later in the year, Sky Sports Box Office branding was added for sports and Sky 3D Box Office for 3D.


Although at launch it showed mainly sporting events, since the launch of Sky Digital, movies along with concerts have become the predominant content. However, Sky Cinema Box Office's limited movie choices and relatively high prices have increasingly left it suffering in comparison to online DVD rental systems. Films are currently first shown on Sky Box Office on the same day as DVD release as of 2011, prior to that there was a 2 to 3 month window between DVD release and Sky Box Office release. Some films still retain the 2 to 3 month window between DVD and Sky Box Office releases.

It can be purchased directly through a Sky remote control. This can be accomplished by pressing "Box Office", purchase an event, confirm the order and enter the PIN if prompted.

World Wrestling Entertainment

Since 1997, WWE have had some of their pay-per-view events available through Box Office. From 1997 to 2003, the UK based pay-per-views, No Mercy, Rebellion and Insurrextion were shown on Box Office. In 2002, Sky gained the sole rights to the whole WWE pay-per-view calendar, after Channel 4's deal ended with WWE. These events were placed on Box Office. In 2004, more of WWE's premier events were moved to Box Office, including WWE's biggest event of the year, WrestleMania.

As of 2012, seven WWE events are shown on Box Office for a one time fee of £14.95/€21.95 for each event, with WrestleMania being charged at £17.95/€24.95, in both Standard and High Definition, with additional repeats (Standard Definition only) available at no additional charge. The remaining five events are shown on Sky Sports.

Despite this pricing, the WWE charges $44.99 SD and $49.99 HD (£31 and £35) for viewers in the United States, with WrestleMania being charged at $54.99 and $59.99 respectively (£38 and £42)


  1. "Sky Movies Box Office". British Sky Broadcasting. Retrieved 1 February 2011.

External links

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