Sky pledges further content spend

Sky has said that it wants to better its £2 billion (€2.35 billion) annual content spend and focus particularly on entertainment as a way to reach out to new audiences.

Speaking at a Royal Television Society event last night, Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said, “today, we are spending well over £2 billion every year on programmes, more than any other broadcaster in the UK. And we’d like to go further.”

Claiming that “content is the one area that I always highlight as a priority for investment,” he said he wants to build on Sky’s plan to up its spend on British content to £600 million a year by next year by creating a “valuable fourth leg to our content offering” to rival sport, movies and news.

“On the face of it, entertainment isn’t an area that looks under-served. There are some great shows out there and viewers have been reasonably happy. But what we hear from our customers is that they have an appetite for more entertainment – and, just as importantly, an appetite for something a bit different,” he said.

Darroch added that he wanted to build “even more” long-term partnerships with programme makers having worked with around 130 indies last year. He also said that bringing entertainment content to Sky OTT offering Now TV was the next priority, following the addition of Sky Sports programming this week.

Sky made a major drama push last year and now has more than 70 hours in production, Darroch said. It also brought through a number of new comedy shows, such as Stella with “more in the pipeline.”

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