Sky News to be Investigated Over Sky Atlantic Coverage

The news channel is being investigated by media regulator Ofcom over a news report it ran about the launch of Sky Atlantic.

 

LONDON -- Has BSkyB breached U.K. broadcasting guidelines in its zeal to promote the launch of its new drama channel Sky Atlantic?

The broadcaster's Sky News channel is being investigated by media regulator Ofcom over a news report it ran about the launch of Sky Atlantic -- its lavish new drama channel showcasing fare like Boardwallk Empire and Mad Men.

A report about the launch on Sky News on Feb 1 -- the channel's launch date -- was then followed by an advertising break that also ran a channel promotion for Sky Atlantic.

Such a blurring of editorial and advertising is frowned on here, where programming and advertising are governed by tightly regulated broadcasting rules.

But it is unlikely to result in a substantial penalty for the satcaster, which has a strong track record of compliance.

It is an indication, however, of how heavily Sky has invested in the launch of Sky Atlantic, the channel it hopes will attract new customers to its pay TV service.

As well as program investment topping $200 million over five years, Sky has run a major advertising campaign across billboards many of its own channels to promote the show.

Last week chief executive Jeremy Darroch hosted a lavish Prohibition-era themed launch party in the presence of Boardwalk Empire stars Steve Buscemi and Stephen Graham as well as creator Terence Winter.

Speaking at the dinner, Buscemi said the role of gangster Nucky Thompson in the Martin Scorsese-produced drama was one he had wanted from the start.

"I loved it when I read the script -- I thought it was incredible. Usually I can let it go it I don't get a script, but this one I couldn't let go."

Asked about the experience of working with Scorsese, Buscemi said: "He's truly a genius director, he sort of makes everyone feel comfortable, but everyone is still afraid of him."

Reps for Sky did not return calls. 

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