Everyone knows I am not a Sky fan so I will start by acknowledging my bias.
Today, for the first time ever, I had reason to visit the Prime TV web site. The reason was that Prime had been airing Stephen Colbert's Late Show but it seemed to have disappeared and I just wanted to confirm that it was no longer being carried.
If nothing else says that Sky has given up the game and is picking up its marbles to leave, primetv.co.nz sure does. Landing on the site is like walking through one of those ghost towns where tumbleweeds blow down the street and no-one is to be seen. The design is sparse, to put it kindly. It actually manages to have a 1970s feel, if such things had existed in the 1970s. Mostly empty rooms with the odd bit of square, blocky furniture. It kind of looks like it was put together by that Heaven's Gate Kool-Aid cult, only after they had drunk the Kool-Aid. Go into a large, vacant warehouse that has seen better days, slam a door, and listen to the echo. That is kind of how primetv.co.nz feels.
There is a paltry sprinkling of a half-dozen or so items on the Home page, which is mostly blank empty space, along with a grand total of four (!) links across the top. The Catch Up page offers all of a half-dozen whole program episodes to view! There is a TV guide for the week. And there is a news link about the news at 5.30 (nothing else) and a 'highlights' page featuring no less than five programmes! It looks like the front of a shop that has gone out of business. Even Wairarapa TV has a more engaging site than this.
Anyone who encounters this for the first time must be left with a sense that Sky doesn't have a clue and has given up trying.
In fairness, I must say that the programme guide worked perfectly, and covered the whole week. I was able to browse through it without problem, and I discovered that the Late Show has not been abandoned, merely shifted to an even later time in the evenings (also repeated in the afternoon). So the site did answer my question, and it did it perfectly well, but it still left me with an empty feeling.
Since I have blasted the site, I suppose I ought to offer some constructive criticism, assuming Sky has not in fact abandoned it. So it needs more content, for a start. A lot more. Sky is being miserly. Pry loose some additional current programmes, and create an archive (like most others have) of past ones. At the least, add some decoration to liven things up. One thing that perplexes me, and persuades me that Sky really has given up, is the complete absence of any kind of promotional material for Sky itself, or any of the other channels it offers. Surely that would be an obvious thing to do here. Someone has really dropped the ball on this one.
Anyway, I probably won't be returning. Viewing this site just depresses me for all the lost opportunities and failures of imagination. No wonder Sky is in trouble.