UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB (‘Sky’) has announced that its Sky Go online service will be rolled out for Android devices next month, but it will be restricted to a small number of devices initially.

Sky Go was launched in July 2011, after it merged its Sky Player and Sky Mobile TV services. It allows subscribers to watch both live and ‘on-demand’ video content on computers, mobile device and games consoles. However, the Sky Go mobile app has been restricted to iOS devices thus far, though Sky says that Apple-branded devices alone reeled in 1.5 million unique users in December 2011.

“For the team who developed the service, it’s hugely rewarding to see how enthusiastically Sky customers have grasped the opportunity to watch their favourite content on the move,” says Holly Knill, Head of Sky Go. “Given the high level of consumer demand, I’m pleased to today be able to announce two very significant developments to Sky Go that will be rolling out over the next month.”

New channels

What’s this, a second announcement? Yes, it seems that the content available on smartphones and the iPad is being extended to include further entertainment channels. First up will be Sky Atlantic, which is being added today, and this will be followed by Sky 1, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1 within the next month. In March, the new Formula 1-focused Sky Sports F1 channel will also launch on Sky Go.

However, the big news is the introduction of the Sky Go Android app, which in theory should open the service to half of the UK‘s smartphone-owning population. But if you don’t have one of the Samsung Galaxy or HTC handsets, you’ll have to wait. “We fully appreciate how much Android users have been looking forward to the launch of Sky Go, and we’ve done everything we can to make sure that our bespoke design for Android handsets is worth waiting for,” adds Knill.

Live sport has been a major driver for Sky Go, with English Premier League football in particular helping to increase the service’s uptake. Indeed, Sky Go achieved a record 3.1m live content views when it broadcast the Premier League double header between Spurs vs. Man City and Arsenal vs. Man Utd on the 22nd January.

Back in November, we reported that movies-on-demand was being added to Sky Go on mobile devices, meaning that Sky Movies subscribers could now tap in to more than 600 movies whenever and wherever they like.

Sky has made a number of additional big announcements the past couple of days. It revealed that it’s launching a public WiFi service, giving its Sky Broadband Unlimited customers free access to more than 10,000 WiFi hotspots across the UK, including at Pizza Express and Wagamama restaurants, whilst it will also be rolling out a new Web-based TV service to target new customers.Yesterday, we reported that Sky Anytime+ would be receiving iPlayer and ITV Player shortly too.