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Sky and HBO announce $250m partnership to broadcast two major new international drama series every year

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Against a backdrop of growing content budgets at Netflix and Amazon, HBO and Sky are giving themselves greater scale with a partnership announced last week that will see at least two high-end international drama series ‘green-lighted’ every year by 2019. The first projects for the new partnership are in development and viewers will see the results – which will be exclusive to Sky and HBO – starting next year.

“The focus of the arrangement will be on high-end productions that feature engaging stories with international points of view and casting,” the companies said. The $250 million multi-year co-production agreement will see executives from both companies deciding which projects to pursue. They have made a direct pitch to the creative community to work with them. The content will air exclusively on Sky and HBO.

“The HBO and Sky partnership will be open to pitches from across the creative community, in both the U.S. and Europe, and is looking for ideas consistent with the content strategies of HBO in North America and the Sky Atlantic brand in Europe,” both parties confirmed. “This is an unrivalled opportunity for production companies to have their content broadcast by two of the leading brands in worldwide television.”

Jeremy Darroch, Group CEO of Sky, added, “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.”

In separate news, Sky has acquired Diagonal View, a producer of social content known for its online channels like Alltime10s and The Football Daily and for creating campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands. Sky says the deal will broaden its engagement with a younger, digital-first audience, while also enabling Sky Media to offer greater brand-safe digital opportunities to advertisers.

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