Parents with Now TV Entertainment Passes used to placating their kids with SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer will have to shell out for an extra Kids Pass this June.
The £6.99/month Entertainment Pass currently gives subscribers access to a range of shows from the decidedly not child-friendly Game of Thrones and True Detective to the likes of Peppa Pig and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
But from June 21 onwards, content from Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Cartoonito and others will only be available if you go in for a £2.99/month Kids Pass too.
How to get Now TVThe Kids Pass comes with a new user interface that promises greater control for parents who want to restrict access to certain shows with a PIN and a screen lock mode to stop younger kids from accidentally stopping or skipping an episode of their favourite show.
While this effectively sees customers who want that same kids content landed with a 50 per cent price rise, some salve comes in the form of new content for Entertainment Pass holders.
Nat Geo Wild has already been added to the Entertainment Pass and later this year, we’ll see on demand channel Viceland coming to the service.
Earlier this year, Sky signed a deal with CBS, meaning shows like Billions and the new series of Twin Peaks that’s due out next year will eventually come to the service; seasons 1 and 2 of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s cult classic are available to stream now.
Last year Sky also got its chequebook out for Disney, which means that as well as the Star Wars films (for which you’ll need a £9.99/month Movies Pass by the way), shows like House and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will be available with an Entertainment Pass in time.
It’s also understood that Sky’s content deals mean that box set will stick around for a bit longer than they have done in the past.
The length of time a box set is available on Now TV depends on rights which vary from show to show and can be renewed periodically. Typically, a show is available on Now TV for between 6-12 months, but it can vary.
Seasons 1-5 of Game of Thrones have been available on Now TV since March and they’ll all be leaving from June 13 onwards. Veep seasons 1-4 landed in April and won’t leave until October, while the last episode of the fifth season, which is being broadcast now, leaves on July 27. Older shows like Mad Men and Sex and The City will be sticking around ‘til 2017 and 2019.
Whether all of this extra content justifies the loss of cartoons will almost certainly depend if whoever’s paying is a parent or not.