Sky to Launch True Crime, Comedy Channels

Frank Norris/HBO
'The Righteous Gemstones'

Crime content will come from Oxygen and HBO, while the comedy network will be "the home of premium scripted U.S. comedy from HBO, NBC and Showtime," along with U.S. talk shows and 'Saturday Night Live.'

European pay TV giant Sky, owned by Comcast, said Wednesday that it will launch two new entertainment channel brands focused on true crime and comedy, respectively. They will feature content from key U.S. providers and add to Sky's programming offers at a time the company continues to boost its original content spending.

Sky recently launched Sky Studios, a new Europe-wide development and production arm that will allow the company to more than double its investment in original content over the next five years.

Sky Crime will launch in October, while Sky Comedy will kick off in February 2020. Both will be available to all Sky customers at no extra charge in linear and on-demand form. Both channels will also become available on Sky streaming service Now TV as part of the Now TV Entertainment pass.

Sky Crime will be "the home of premium U.S. true crime from Oxygen and HBO and the dedicated home of quality first-run content from Jupiter and Woodcut," the company said. Key programming will include I Love You, Now Die and The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell. "Additionally, famous headline cases from the U.S. and U.K., like Kemper on Kemper and Britain’s Most Evil Killers and the In Defense Of series, will bring new insight into some of the most notorious killers of modern times."

Sky Comedy will be "the home of premium scripted U.S. comedy from HBO, NBC and Showtime, including brand new acclaimed comedies like Mrs. Fletcher, starring Kathryn Hahn; The Righteous Gemstones, starring John Goodman, Adam DeVine and Danny McBride; A.P. Bio and Sunnyside." The comedy network will also air all new seasons of hit U.S. shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Ballers, starring Dwayne Johnson, as well as feature U.S. talk shows like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver along with Saturday Night Live. The channel promises to round out its offerings with an "enviable library of favorites like Will & Grace and Parks and Recreation."

Said Zai Bennett, managing director of content at Sky: "Sky Crime and Sky Comedy are fantastic additions to our entertainment portfolio, providing our customers with two new destinations for their favorite shows. Sky Crime, the home of premium true crime, will complement Sky Witness perfectly, while Sky Comedy is an exciting new proposition for Sky customers, offering them a daily dose of the best U.S. comedy, which will sit alongside our expanding slate of Sky original comedy on Sky One. By investing in the best of the U.S. as well as doubling our investment in original drama and comedy, we are making Sky an unbeatable destination for the best range of premium TV."

Sky's entertainment channel portfolio in the U.K. and Ireland now includes six core brands: Sky One, Sky Atlantic, Sky Witness, Sky Arts, Sky Crime and Sky Comedy. In addition, it offers the Sky Cinema and Sky Kids services.