UK pay-TV broadcaster Sky will this summer begin a major arts push across Europe, anchored by the launch of the Milan-based Sky Arts Production Hub.
The creation of the hub – a commissioning and production center – is the company’s first initiative since it acquired German and Italian sister companies Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia last year and merged European operations.
The hub will see the development of arts programming for Sky customers in Italy, Germany, Austria, Ireland and the UK, and the focus is to be “pan-European events” that will resonate with international audiences. Arts programming will be produced for all Sky territories, in addition to local commissions.
Alongside the hub, the broadcaster is also to relaunch Sky Arts in the UK and Ireland with an on-demand catalog of arts programming featuring more than 1,000 hours, including programming commissioned and acquired exclusively for on-demand. Meanwhile, Sky Arts – which already launched in Italy as Sky Arte in 2012 – is also to expand into Germany and Austria.
Elsewhere, the Sky Arts 1 and Sky Arts 2 channels will merge into a single “super-channel” offering various arts genres and featuring a 10% boost in its programming investment. The channel will launch on June 9.
“Bringing the three Sky businesses together has opened up the opportunity to create new and exciting content on a greater scale,” said Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive for Sky, in a statement. “As an international company, we can raise our ambition and make a bigger impact for millions of customers across Europe.”