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NBCUI details Sky Vision takeover plans

NBCUniversal International (NBCUI) has outlined its transition plans for integrating UK distributor and producer Sky Vision next month.

Belinda Menendez

NBCUI will absorb areas of the company after its parent, Comcast, acquired parts of European satcaster Sky last year.

Speaking at an event in London last night to mark the end of Sky Vision, Belinda Menendez, president of NBCU International Television Distribution and Universal Networks International, said the teams at both companies were very competent and she was confident the company changes will happen seamlessly on the proposed date of October 1.

Former Sky Vision MD Jane Millichip is staying with Sky. She has been promoted to chief commercial officer at Sky Studios where she’ll be leading all of its commercial activities and working in its production arm, as exclusively revealed by C21 on the eve of MipTV earlier this year.

“The production entities that we have investments in, our development deals – all those functions of Sky Vision move to the newly formed Sky Studios,” Millichip said.

Jane Millichip

But she did not specify how many people would lose their jobs in the restructure. C21 understands that most staff have retained their jobs.

Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios, unveiled the new outfit earlier this year and promised to double its investment in original content. In August, the fledgling outfit invested in Bristol-based natural history prodco True To Nature.

Millichip said it wasn’t the end for Sky Vision but a series of “new beginnings.”

“For the first time at Sky, we are really embracing the European endeavour,” she added. “Sky Studios is an unusual model in that we’re very much operate like a US studio but our creative sensibilities are thoroughly European.”

This point was reinforced by Davey. “We have very big ambitions. We’re determined to become Europe’s most important producer of original content,” he said.

Gary Davey

“Currently we have 52 scripted projects in pre-production and production – that’s 34 dramas and 18 comedies, and that’s only going to get bigger.”

Davey said the push for original content and the launch of Sky Studios would not stop the satcaster working with the independent production community.

“We believe in the indie community, we love our production partners,” he said. “The production partners we’ve invested in will remain a part of Sky Vision and we are committed to that and are committed to the independent community.”

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