Murdoch's Sky Signs First Pan-Europe Deal for HBO Programs

  • Sky secures first-run rights for HBO across its territories
  • HBO shows screened exclusively to Sky's 21 million viewers

Sky Plc, Rupert Murdoch’s European pay-TV company, signed its first pan-European deal for first-run rights to screen HBO programs to its 21 million customers across the continent. 

Sky’s agreement with Time Warner Inc.’s premium TV channel covers Germany, Austria, Italy, Ireland and the U.K. and means customers there will be the first to view shows such as “The Leftovers” and “Game of Thrones” on Sky Atlantic, the company said in a statement Thursday. The deal expands an existing arrangement between HBO and Sky in the U.K. and Ireland.

Sky paid about $10 billion to merge with its counterparts Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia in late 2014 and create a pan-European, pay-TV competitor to billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Global Plc. Since then, the enlarged Sky has joined forces to negotiate for the rights to sports and TV programs and are also producing shows of their own.

Sky and HBO have also teamed up to produce “The Young Pope,” starring Jude Law and Diane Keaton, premiering in 2016, Sky said.

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