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HBO & Sky in Partnership until 2020

# 31 January 2014, 12:27 by cfteam

HBO have signed a deal with BSkyB until 2020. This gives Sky exclusive rights to the first run showings of HBO content on the Sky Atlantic Channel. Sky also expect to partner with HBO to create new drama shows.

HBO produce a number of dramas including Girls, The Following & True Detective. They were also responsible for many major series such as Sopranos, and Band of Brothers. Previously HBO have partnered with the BBC for co-productions of drama such as Paradise End, but new UK. The million pounds per episode Game of Thrones has a strong cult following but is often considered listed as one of the most pirated shows.

In the UK Sky Atlantic is only available to Sky’s direct subscribers. It has been showing many HBO shows for some time, before they are some months or years later aired on other more accessible channels. Last week’s BARB figures show Atlantic has only a 0.2% weekly share of viewing figures, no doubt compounded by the lack of other carriers, compared to the more accessible Sky1’s 0.9%

For many years Virgin Media has been unable to transmit Sky Atlantic. If the TV industry wishes piracy issues to reduce, perhaps they need to find a way to enable accessible, affordable, content. Subscribers are not likely to fork out twice to two different organisations for a main Pay TV service, and then a second top up elsewhere. One has to hope that, BSkyB will be more inclined to offer the channel, at reasonable rates to other platforms, or the scourge of piracy is likely to continue.

The deal is important to Sky in an attempt to limit inroads being made by rival BT into the Pay TV market. Sky have already seen their flagship Sports services eroded, and now wish to build other must have pillars of content through which to maintain and build their 10 million subscriber base.

Sky Atlantic

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