Sky Atlantic HD, the channel that will house the HBO library in the UK, will launch on February 1st. It will take channel 108 in the Sky EPG as part of a reshuffle of the line-up that coincides with the introduction of the new HD Swap Bouquet that will give Sky subscribers a single set of numbers for HD and SD channels. The rebranded Sky Living HD will sit at 107 while Sky 1 HD remains on channel 106.
Significantly, in addition to HBO content, Sky Atlantic will also feature a number of UK commissions including original comedy This Is Jinsy, Paul Abbott’s new drama, Hit and Miss, and Sir David Attenborough’s ground-breaking documentary, Flying Monsters that debuted at Christmas on Sky 3D.
The HBO drama In Treatment, starring Gabriel Byrne as therapist Dr Paul Weston moves from Sky Arts, while Weeds and Battlestar Galactica move in from Sky 1.
However, the highlight of Sky Atlantic will undoubtedly be Boardwalk Empire (pictured), HBO’s critically acclaimed 12-part series, from Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese and Emmy Award-winning writer Terence Winter. It stars Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald and Michael Pitt.
“As the home of HBO in the UK, it’s the place where the world’s best talent – whether on screen or off, American or home-grown – come to do their most creative work,” said Stuart Murphy, director of programmes for Sky Atlantic and sister channel Sky 1 HD. “Sky Atlantic HD is a key part of our strategy to help further grow the content gap between what you can get with Sky, and what you can get elsewhere.”
Sky Atlantic will be included as part of Sky’s existing packages. In addition to the linear channel all of the major shows will also be made available on demand. Featured will be many HBO originals, such as The Pacific, The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Flight of the Conchords and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Despite the branding an SD version will also be available, putting Sky Atlantic in around 10 million UK homes.