Sky Triples Down on U.K. Content with 200 Originals, $610 Million Investment
Pay TV operator Sky is continuing to invest big in the U.K.
The Comcast owned outfit has trebled its output of U.K.-originated content from 2019 to 200 originals in 2022 with an investment of £500 million ($610 million), said Dana Strong, group CEO of Sky, on Thursday.
Strong was bullish about the impending opening of the Sky Studios Elstree that will host Sky originals in addition to film and television content from the Universal group.
“We’re very excited about it, there are 13 sound stages and Elstree will bring £3 billion [$3.6 billion] of production into the U.K. over five years, and thousands of jobs opportunities,” Strong said.
Strong was speaking at the Deloitte and Enders Media and Telecoms conference, an in-person event attended by the heads of all the U.K. public service broadcasters (PSB), the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and STV.
Strong said that the relationship between Sky and the PSBs “could not be stronger.” The executive revealed that 30% of PSB viewing in the U.K. is via the Sky platform, which is a leading content aggregator across PSBs and streamers.
“When I think about the role going forward, in the PSB sector, I hope that that partnership continues really on an ongoing basis, because collectively we become stronger,” Strong said. “And I really do believe that connecting customers with content that they love, works for both parties, and being able to form commercial relationships with PSBs so that we can do that more effectively.”
“It’s been one of the most important things we’ve achieved in the last few years,” Strong said.
The context in which Strong was speaking, and what was the underlying theme of the media part of the conference, are the challenges being faced by the BBC and Channel 4 from the U.K. government currently.
Variety's Naman Ramachandran contributed to this post.