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Script competition

Sky sets up studio to double originals

Critically acclaimed Sky/HBO coproduction Chernobyl

Comcast-owned European satcaster Sky has launched a studio division that aims to double its investment in original productions over the next five years.

Sky Studios will develop around Europe, creating series for Sky channels, NBC Broadcast and cable, and Universal Pictures, as well as for other distribution outlets.

The move follows Comcast’s purchase of the satcaster for US$39bn ahead of a rival bid from 21st Century Fox last year.

In a statement today, Sky said its increasing success with original productions – notably the critically acclaimed Chernobyl, coproduced with HBO – as well as its new ability to partner with NBC and Universal, put it in a strong position to expand its originals output.

The new studio will produce and develop original content across all genres, with a focus on drama and comedy. It will work in close collaboration with local Sky leadership teams.

Production will begin next month on Sky Studios’ first international project, a six-part drama called The Third Day, another copro with HBO and starring Jude Law.

Sky Studios will be led by Gary Davey, CEO, who is currently Sky UK’s MD of Content.

Jeremy Darroch, group CEO, said: “This is a transformational development for us. Sky Studios will drive our vision to be the leading force in European content development and production. Our ambition is to make Sky Studios famous for quality content and a place where Europe’s top creatives will want to do their best work.

“Being part of Comcast enables us to increase our investment and to maximise the advantage and leverage of the Sky Group and our partners, NBCUniversal. This is a clear signal of Comcast’s belief in our commitment to producing the best original content in Europe.”

Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios, said: “This exciting new venture is perfectly timed to meet the growing content demands of our customers. We look forward to working with the whole creative community, from individual creators to the big independent producers to produce more of the original content our customers love.”

Analyst Dani Warner, broadband and TV expert at, told C21: “Sky could not have picked a better time to announce this, following the incredible success of Chernobyl. It is this kind of original content that Sky is signalling it wants to increase.

“In content terms, this is the first real show of muscle from new owners Comcast. Premium content both drives conversation and hype, and is popular with viewers – but it doesn’t come cheap. Traditionally, broadcasters have been unable to compete with the financial clout of the online heavyweights, with shows like The Crown and the forthcoming Lord of the Rings demanding budgets beyond the capabilities of Sky, but that seems to be changing.”


Content London 2019
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