As Sky continues to expand across Europe and develop itself into much more than a mere television provider, they’ve been laying down vital groundwork to fund their growth.
However, their success will likely always be underpinned by a continued dominance in the pay-tv sector. That’s why the company have this week announced two new long-term strategic partnerships with major American content providers – A+E and NBC Universal.
A+E Networks® boasts a portfolio of industry leaving programming and a strong commitment to producing entertainment in the countries they’ll primarily be sold. Here in the UK, that’s meant favourites such as Ronnie O’Sullivan’s American Hustle and Britain’s Next Top Model, but Sky is more than the UK these days.
With a presence in Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria, Sky’s extension of their relationship with A+E means that they’ll get more top programming like Mafia Queens in Italy and History Hunters in Germany, along with the very best of their US programming, like their critically acclaimed re-imagining of the iconic Roots, which will come to HISTORY in the UK this summer.
The partnership encompasses A+E Networks’ six brands in Europe: HISTORY; Lifetime; Crime + Investigation; H2; A&E; and BLAZE and will feature on Sky’s non-linear streaming platform Now TV.
Rob Webster, Group Director Partner Channels, Sky said: “It’s great to have built on Sky’s decade-long relationship with A+E with this pan-European partnership. Customers across all of our regions continue to enjoy world-class content thanks to Sky’s partnerships with companies like A+E who trust us to treat their brands and content as if they were our own.”
At the same time, Sky have announced that they’ve secured a multi-year extension to their partnership with NBCUniversal, which covers both NBCUniversal film properties for Sky Cinema and NBC Universal’s range of television channels.
Sky customers in the UK and Ireland will be able to enjoy a selection of NBCUniversal’s fantastic television channels, which include the Universal Channel, Syfy and E! Entertainment and Movies 24. Meanwhile, customers in Germany and Austria will enjoy Universal Channel, Syfy and E! Entertainment and 13th STREET.
In addition, Syfy and NBCU International’s all-reality service, hayu, will launch in 2018 on NOW TV in the UK. In Germany, Syfy will launch on Sky Ticket in 2019.
More importantly for Sky though, this deal will ensure more tent-pole, first-run movies like the Jurassic Park, Despicable Me and Fast & Furious franchises will continue to appear on Sky Cinema, alongside the critically acclaimed films from Working Title and Focus Features, which also belong to NBCUniversal. Quite simply, securing this deal was vital to the health and prosperity of Sky Cinema going forward.
Gary Davey, Managing Director, Content, Sky commented on the deal: “It’s been a very successful year for rights negotiations and we are very pleased to have secured this long-term deal for our customers. Our focus remains on providing our customers with content of the highest quality and NBCUniversal’s movies, television programming and channel brands are globally renowned. Our partners’ trust in Sky as the custodian of their brands and content enables us to not only establish, but extend, these long-term relationships and we look forward to continuing to work with NBCUniversal International.”