21 Nov 2017
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Sky, HBO extend relationship

MUMBAI: UK pay TV service provider Sky and US cable network HBO have extended their relationship by agreeing a new deal that will make Sky Atlantic the home of HBO for 21 million Sky customers across Europe.

The new deal means that Sky will have the exclusive rights to broadcast first-run HBO programmes in Germany, Austria and Italy until 2020, bringing those markets in line with the UK & Ireland. It also includes more HBO content on demand for all Sky customers across Europe to enjoy.

The agreement is the first pan-European content deal covering all Sky territories that Sky has negotiated.

For Sky customers, it means that new HBO shows will be shown first on Sky Atlantic and where possible, will be aired simultaneously with the US. It also means more access to the entire wealth of HBO’s stellar library of TV series for all Sky customers. Along with extensive preview and premiere rights, there will be more entire boxsets available on the Sky platforms in all markets for longer periods. Customers will have extra time to enjoy previous seasons of hit shows such as Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, Veep, The Newsroom and Girls at their leisure, in and out of the home.

For the first time all the episodes of current series such as True Detective will be available to view on catch up, stacked and to be watched as the series transmits. As well as viewing their favourite shows when they want, customers can watch them where they want using Europe’s biggest mobile TV service, Sky Go, via streaming and download.

Customers who use Sky’s streaming platforms, Now TV and Sky Online will also have access to this must-see channel live or they can watch episodes on demand on a range of compatible devices.

As well as current shows such as ‘Ballers’ and ‘The Leftovers’, they can look forward to major new shows from HBO’s exciting slate as well as returning series such as ‘Game of Thrones’. When the fifth series launched exclusively on Sky it set a new record for a show on Sky in Germany and Austria with 5.4 million views across the series while the finale achieved a record audience of 3.1 million in the UK and Ireland.

Among the many exciting HBO shows expected next year are ‘Vinyl’ and ‘Westworld’. Vinyl is from Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter and is set in the music business in 1970s New York. Premiering in February 2016, it stars Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde and Ray Romano. Later in the year, customers will be able to enjoy Westworld, a science fiction thriller inspired by the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name. From Executive Producers Jonathan Nolan and J.J Abrams, ‘Westworld’ features Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden and Thandie Newton among its all-star cast.

As well as shows produced by HBO, next year will see the premiere of the first Sky/HBO co-production. In 2016, customers can look forward to The Young Pope starring Jude Law and Diane Keaton and directed by Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino. It is also co-produced with Canal+.

Sky MD content Gary Davey said, “HBO continues to deliver many of the most-talked about and exciting TV shows anywhere in the world. This new agreement, Sky’s first pan-European content deal, confirms Sky Atlantic as the home of HBO in all our markets both live and on demand. Sky and HBO share many common values, as well as a passion for high-quality television like Game of Thrones and Veep. Our partnership, in its sixth year, now escalates to a whole new level. HBO has an amazing slate planned for 2016 including Vinyl and Westworld but it will also see the premiere of our first co-production together, the Young Pope starring Jude Law.”

HBO president programming sales Charles Schreger said, “As a partner, Sky has always shown the greatest of respect and appreciation for the HBO brand. They have shined a spotlight on our original programming and treated the shows as preciously as if they were their own. This ongoing relationship has been rewarding and successful to both of us and this expansion is representative of the trust and admiration we have for them as well as a belief that we can elevate each other even further.”