Now TV to sponsor Dublinbikes from 2021

Sky streaming service will have joint naming rights in three-year €2.25m deal

Sarah Jennings, marketing director of Now TV: ‘Sponsorships like this don’t come up every day.’

Sarah Jennings, marketing director of Now TV: ‘Sponsorships like this don’t come up every day.’


Now TV is to become the next sponsor of Dublinbikes, with the Sky streaming service securing joint naming rights to the city’s public bike hire scheme in a deal worth €2.25 million over three years.

The commercial partnership was announced in Portobello by Dublin City Council and advertising company JCDecaux on Wednesday, with the bikes and stations set to be branded as Now TV Dublinbikes from January 19th.

Now TV marketing director Sarah Jennings said the company, a subsidiary of pay-TV giant and broadcaster Sky, was “really, really excited” by the opportunity to increase awareness of Now TV through the three-year deal.

“Sponsorships like this don’t come up every day,” she said.

The price is the same paid by Just Eat back in 2017 for its three-year sponsorship of the public access bike hire network.

Now TV, billed as a “no strings” on-demand service compared to standard pay-TV subscriptions, targets its monthly sport, entertainment and cinema passes at young, typically urban consumers,who are often renters or otherwise “not in the frame of mind for a long-term subscription”, said Ms Jennings, who compared this flexibility with “the freedom to discover the city” offered by Dublinbikes.

The Dublinbikes scheme, which was first introduced 11 years ago, has had two previous sponsors, Coca-Cola Zero and most recently Just Eat.

Sky’s deal comes as interest in cycling has been buoyed by Government advice to reserve public transport for necessary journeys.

New app

The Now TV partnership will coincide with the launch of a new Dublinbikes app that will allow users to release a bike from their smartphone for the first time. Other new features are promised under a plan to modernise the scheme and make it more accessible.

“The Dublinbikes scheme has been a huge success since it was launched back in 2009 and continues to go from strength to strength,” said Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu. “Cycling is getting more popular every day, especially since the onset of Covid-19, and Dublin City Council is keeping pace by continuing to roll out cycling infrastructure throughout the city.”

There are currently 1,600 bikes available to hire under the scheme from 117 stations around Dublin. As of November 30th, it had 55,138 long-term subscribers, while more than 31 million journeys have been taken using the bikes since the scheme’s launch.

The average duration of the journeys so far this year is 17 minutes and almost all journeys – some 94 per cent – have come under the 30 minute threshold at which per-journey charges start to apply. Subscribers pay €35 a year – a fee that increased 40 per cent from last September – or €5 for three-day access.