Sky Outbids E4 for U.K. 'Glee' Rights

The pay TV giant looks to have snapped up the rights in a deal thought to be worth $19.5 million for the next season.

LONDON - Can anyone beat the buying power of Sky? The pay-giant that has wrestled rights to Mad Men, House and HBO's entire catalog from its U.K. rivals now looks to have snapped up rights to Glee in a deal thought to be worth £12 million for the next season.

The show, which was launched in the U.K. by Channel 4 two years ago, has earned a cult teen following in the U.K. after debuting its first two seasons on Channel 4's youth channel E4.

But the state-owned broadcaster was forced to walk away from renewal talks with 20th Century Fox after being "substantially" outbid by Sky, according to people close to the talks.

Channel 4, which last week announced that it was buying the Fox version of The Killing said it would use the cash it had put aside for Glee to bring new content to the network.

"By not renewing the Glee deal we are freeing up huge amounts of budget to invest in home-grown programming, British talent and of course continuing to discover and showcase what the US has to offer," a spokesman for E4 said. Sky declined comment on the deal.