Sky Targets One Original Movie per Week

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Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's CEO, U.K. and Europe, tells a virtual industry conference about the company's "big step into original film."

Comcast-owned Sky is planning to expand the number of original movies it offers, Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's CEO, U.K. and Europe, said at a big virtual industry conference on Wednesday.

Speaking during the Media and Telecoms 2021 & Beyond conference, organized by Enders Analysis and Deloitte, he showed a slide that listed a "big step into original film" as part of the company's strategy.

"Next year, we are planning to do one original movie per week," he said, mentioning the firm had offered 22 last year.

Asked about production arm Sky Studios, van Rooyen said Sky continues to "accelerate" its push into originals, reaching "125 this year and growing rapidly" after that.

Questioned how the takeover by Comcast has worked out for Sky, he said: "It's going really, really well." The executive mentioned the sharing of technology, infrastructure and executives as examples of the benefits of the deal.

Other speakers at the conference include top executives from the likes of the Walt Disney Co., WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS, ITV, the BBC and Vivendi. Among key topics of debate at the event are such issues as the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, advertising trends, the streaming video wars and the future of media and entertainment.

The conference started on Tuesday and will wrap Wednesday in what has been a particularly busy week for media industry news, led by ITV's Monday evening airing of Oprah With Meghan and Harry, the two-hour Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

ITV on Tuesday reported that the special drew more than 11 million viewers. Later in the day, it announced that Piers Morgan was departing its breakfast show after he attracted complaints for his comments about Markle that led media regulator Ofcom to announce an investigation.

Also late on Tuesday, following Winfrey's explosive interview, the British Royal Family issued a brief statement, commenting generally on its contents and expressing concern about suggestions of racism in the royal household.