Sky Italia Launches New Theatrical Distribution Company

Courtesy of Sky


Sky Italia has partnered with the country's top production companies in a strategic move.

Sky continues to make major movies into the theatrical cinema world in Italy, where it announced a major distribution deal Monday with five of the country’s top production companies — Palomar, Wildside, Cattleya, Indiana and Italian International Film.

The Murdoch-owned pay TV provider has been making leaps into original content and the film world with longform TV from popular shows including Gomorrah and 1992, and the upcoming Paolo Sorrentino-helmed The Young Pope, as well as various local film productions. It also took over production of Italy’s cinema honors, the David di Donatello awards, from state-owned Rai this year, a gesture that shows it intends to lead the way with the country’s key movers and shakers.

The new company, which is still unnamed, “is designed to support and promote Italian cinema through an innovative, open and collaborative model. For the first time, a media company operating in both the Pay TV and FTA business will be joining forces with some of the major Italian independent producers,” Sky said in a statement. “The newly formed theatrical distribution company will offer the market new opportunities, exploring and embracing different paths and models in the area of distribution, content and language.”

In addition to launching films theatrically in Italy, the company may also invest in individual productions. Sky naturally will own all TV rights.

The move puts Sky Italia in a prime position against competitors Rai, which runs 01 Distribution, and Mediaset, which owns distribution and production arm Medusa as well as production company TaoDue, responsible for some of Italy’s top films in recent years.

As Italian content is still the most popular content across Sky channels, the new company represents a strong strategy in being able to own the rights for a wide berth of homegrown films from the start.