Sky to Double Investment in Original Programming

Courtesy of HBO

The investment comes under a initiative with new owner Comcast.

Pan-European pay TV giant Sky will double its investment in original programming thanks to backing from new owner Comcast. 

Sky management had said last summer that its annual original content spending budget was now about 500 million pounds, or $650 million at the time.

The company on Wednesday unveiled Sky Studios, a new Europe-wide development and production unit that will create new productions for Sky channels, NBC broadcast and cable, and Universal Pictures, as well as for other distribution outlets. While it aims to produce and develop original content across all genres, it will focus on drama and comedy.

The announcement comes after the recent smash hit success of Chernobyl, which has been the most successful Sky original production ever, a record number of BAFTA wins for Sky, as well as several other European hit shows, such as Das Boot and Gomorrah.

“This is a transformational development for us," said Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch. "Sky Studios will drive our vision to be the leading force in European content development and production. Our ambition is to make Sky Studios famous for quality content and a place where Europe’s top creatives will want to do their best work."

Added Darroch: "Being part of Comcast enables us to increase our investment and to maximize the advantage and leverage of the Sky Group and our partners, NBCUniversal. This is a clear signal of Comcast’s belief in our commitment to producing the best original content in Europe.”

Production will begin next month on Sky Studios’ first international project, a six-part drama called The Third Day, a co-production with HBO and starring Jude Law.