Sky, HBO announce production partnership

Sky and HBO have announced plans to co-produce two drama series a year as part of a $250 million deal.

The first programme is already in development and due to be broadcast exclusively on the two companies' networks next year.

Within two years, the partnership expects to give the green light at least two drama projects per year, according to a statement.

Sky and HBO are calling on production houses from the United States and Europe to pitch ideas and a panel of executives from both companies will choose the best ones.

Jeremy Darroch, Group CEO of Sky, said: "HBO and Sky have for many years shared a common creative culture and a common vision for the development of high quality drama. 

“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."

Chairman and CEO of HBO Richard Plepler added: “Together we represent the best in television and combined we will raise the bar even higher in pay TV programming."

Last month, Pleper said he was hopeful of co-producing content with Orange as part of a deal that saw the operator become the exclusive distributer of HBO content in France.

Also in March, Sky signed a deal with Altice to co-produce a 10-part series about the super rich.

Meanwhile, Sky revealed revenues in the nine months to March grew 11 percent to £9.6 billion after it added 106,000 new customers in the most recent quarter.

The company now has a total customer base of 22.4 million households across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy.

EBITDA was down six percent to £1.5 billion and operating profit fell by 11 percent to £1 billion due to expenditure on the likes of Premier League football rights and the launch of Sky Mobile.

The company did not share how many customers has signed up to its new mobile offering but said it was “pleased with the initial response” to its entry into the market.

Darroch added: “We launched Sky Mobile to create a substantial new source of revenue and profits.”

Sky hopes the UK government will approve its takeover by Twenty-First Century Fox next month.

The two companies agreed an £11.7 billion deal back in December but Ofcom and the Competition Markets Authority must assuage media plurality concerns.

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