The slate of high end productions – the first of which are already in development – will be international in both their perspective and casting.
The move could be interpreted as a counter to the strength of drama produced by Netflix, which has a high proportion of overlap with Sky subscribers, despite the streaming service not being directly available through Sky boxes. Sky Atlantic drama Guerrilla was this month released as a boxed set ahead of its linear TV broadcast.
Richard Plepler, HBO’s Chairman and CEO of HBO said: “Sky has been a great partner for us and this deal allows even deeper collaboration between our two great companies, which have long tradition in creating superior content for our customers. Together we represent the best in television and combined we will raise the bar even higher in pay TV programming.”
The Sky Atlantic brand that launched in the UK in September 2012, and is now available in Germany and Italy, continues to be the home for HBO content in Sky markets.
“HBO and Sky have for many years shared a common creative culture and a common vision for the development of high quality drama,” added Jeremy Darroch, Group CEO of Sky. “This new venture deepens that relationship, maintains our leadership position in world-class content, provides great opportunities for indies and gives our customers even more opportunity to enjoy brilliant story telling.”
A panel of executives from both organisations will be responsible for greenlighting the projects.
Within two years, the partnership anticipates reaching a consistent output, green-lighting at least two drama projects per year with the first project coming to screen in 2018.