Netflix's password crackdown hits Sky TV viewers for first time — and paying more money won't fix the issue

a television on a cabinet shows the Sky TV main menu with Netflix shows included in the recommendations

Sky's Ultimate TV bundle — the default package for new customers — includes a Netflix subscription worth £7.99 per month, but it has restrictions when it comes to adding extra members

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 04/12/2023

- 16:16

Updated: 04/12/2023

- 16:18

Sky TV doesn't support the £4.99 monthly charge that enables you to watch Netflix in different households

  • Netflix started its password sharing crackdown in the UK this summer
  • Sky TV includes a Netflix Basic subscription, worth £7.99 per month
  • Warnings have appeared on-screen for Sky Stream, Sky Glass, and Sky Q boxes

Netflix introduced tough new rules to block password sharing between friends and family over the summer, with subscribers forced to spend an extra £4.99 per month to login to the same account from multiple locations. But there was one group of Netflix viewers who were exempt from the crackdown — those whose subscription was included as part of their Sky TV bundle.

But that exemption no longer applies, with viewers now confronted with warnings when they try to watch the same Netflix account across multiple devices. The warnings will appear on Sky Stream, Sky Glass, and Sky Q devices.

The warning message will ask you to confirm whether your Sky set-top box is included in your "Netflix Household". Depending on your subscription plan, Netflix allows you to stream on either two or four devices simultaneously.

However, regardless of your monthly plan, these devices will need to be in the same location — preventing you from sharing your login details with a friend or family and splitting the subscription cost.

As Sky explains it, "A Netflix account is meant to be shared by people living together in one household."

By confirming your Sky Stream, Sky Glass, or Sky Q box is in your "Netflix Household", you will lock your Netflix account to the Wi-Fi network used by your Sky TV set-top box. Other devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network will be able to stream without an issue.

However, if you attempt to watch Netflix from a different location nationwide while you're watching on your home Wi-Fi network, the streamer will assume that you've shared your password with someone else — and block your access outside of your house.

Netflix is a little more lenient with portable devices. For example, you can use your mobile devices to watch Netflix as long as those gadgets have accessed Netflix while connected to your Wi-Fi network within the last 30 days. This also applies to laptops and tablets.

When it started to toughen its stance on password sharing, Netflix introduced an optional £4.99 charge to add an "extra member" to your household. This acknowledges that someone will be watching outside your home address / Wi-Fi network.

It's cheaper than a separate advert-free subscription (starting from £10.99 per month) and the same price as the Standard With Adverts plan.

If you have a Netflix subscription that you want to share with someone who lives elsewhere, you can pay the £4.99 per month charge. Things get a little more complicated for Sky TV subscribers because, as it stands, there's no way to add this surcharge to your monthly bills.

On a support page, Sky confirmed that "to share your Netflix account with people outside of your household, you’ll need to add them as extra members for an extra monthly charge. Extra Members isn’t available through Sky"

If you want to keep your existing Netflix account when you join Sky TV, any extra members linked to your subscription will be removed and you'll no longer be billed for them. Extra Members will be notified of the change and offered the chance to transfer their profile — with viewing history, ratings, and recommendations intact — to a new Netflix account billed separately.

These restrictions aren't unique to Sky TV, with telly bundles from BT TV, TalkTalk TV and Virgin Media that include a Netflix subscription suffering from the same issue. These account holders cannot add an Extra Member either but can expect to see a warning from Netflix asking them to set a definitive "Netflix Household" appearing on-screen.

Sky offers a Netflix Basic subscription at no extra cost with its Sky Stream, Sky Glass, and Sky Q bundles. It offers the ability to watch in High Definition, albeit only on a single device at a time.

Netflix pulled its Basic plan, which cost £7.99 per month and offered HD-quality streaming without adverts, earlier this year for new customers. Those who were already subscribed to this plan can continue to watch as normal, but new customers can now only pick between the ad-supported £4.99 per month plan and the £10.99 per month Standard option, which lets you watch on two devices simultaneously in 1080p HD, download shows and films to watch offline and add Extra Members as necessary. A £17.99 per month Premium plan offers 4K Ultra HD and other perks.

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