February 03, 2016 02:00 ET

Sky Backs InCrowd With GBP 0.3 Million Investment

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 3, 2016) - Sky PLC ("Sky") (LSE: SKY), Europe's leading entertainment company, today announces it has invested £0.3 million in mobile fan engagement and sports marketing company InCrowd. The investment in the UK-based company follows a series of Sky partnerships with pioneering technology companies in the U.S., helping to accelerate innovation.

InCrowd, formed by the team behind the world's leading sports data company, Opta, specializes in developing mobile apps, offering real-time content, match analysis and interactive games, providing clubs and rights holders with a direct way to engage with fans. 

Sky Sports, which has developed some of the UK's most popular digital channels, will work with InCrowd to explore new ways of delivering the best content to sports fans.

InCrowd has also developed its own connectivity software that sits within its apps, allowing phones to share all available connectivity, rather than compete for it. Any information requested by an app user without a signal can be provided by the network, while the more phones that join the network, the better the solution works.

Sky, which offers fast, reliable connectivity to thousands of venues around the country through its Wi-Fi business, The Cloud, will work with InCrowd to develop in-stadia connectivity even further.

"This is the latest in a series of investments in pioneering technology companies, which we know bring real benefits to customers," said Emma Lloyd, director of corporate development & strategic Investments at Sky. "We're really looking forward to working with InCrowd, a company that shares our passion for innovation, and for finding new and exciting ways to deliver content."

"Sky are world leaders in delivering content to sports fans wherever they are," said Aidan Cooney, co-founder and CEO of InCrowd. "We're incredibly excited to be working with them to explore new ways of engaging with fans."

This partnership follows recent Sky investments in programmatic advertising company DataXu and OTT video company TV4 Entertainment. Sky has previously invested in a number of other pioneering U.S. technology companies, including the leading online sports network Whistle Sports, IP streaming service provider Roku and cinematic virtual reality company Jaunt.

Notes to editors:

1) References to InCrowd are to InCrowd Sports Limited
2) Gross assets subject to this transaction were £0.3m
3) Profits attributable to the assets subject to this transaction were £nil

About Sky
Sky is Europe's leading entertainment company, serving 21 million customers across five countries: UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. We offer the best and broadest range of content, deliver market-leading customer service and use innovative new technology to give customers a better TV experience, whenever and wherever they choose.

Sky has annual revenues of over £11 billion and is Europe's leading investor in television content with a combined programming budget of £4.9 billion. The group employs 30,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).

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About InCrowd Sports
InCrowd is a sports marketing company that uses technology to bring fans closer to the teams they are passionate about. They build club apps based on proprietary TribeHive Connect software, which networks all phones with the app installed, boosting connectivity in sports stadiums, dramatically improving fans' access to data. 

InCrowd enables fans to directly participate via their smart phone, expressing their views, opinions and predictions to each other and via the stadium's big screen. This also provides a platform for clubs to build one to one relationships with their fan base, whether they're watching from the stands, the pub, or their home.