Sky catches ‘Break’

Broadcaster takes 'Journeyman' from Five

Europe’s leading paybox, BskyB, has outbid terrestrial rival Five for exclusive U.K. TV rights to “Prison Break.”

Deal with 20th Century Fox Intl. Television Distribution also lands the satcaster the first two seasons of “Journeyman,” the new show from the team behind “The West Wing.”

Sky forked out £500,000 ($985,000) an episode for “Prison Break,” 20% more than Five was apparently prepared to pay.

“The edge-of-the-seat drama is the perfect addition to our must-see slate of U.S. programming,” said web’s acquisitions topper, David Smyth.

“The ‘Journeyman’ pilot was a standout pilot at the L.A. Screenings, and we’re confident that the series will resonate with Sky One’s audience, aided by a knockout performance from British actor Kevin McKidd,” Smyth added.

Deal almost certainly represents Sky’s biggest U.S. acquisition since it outbid Channel 4 for “Lost” last year, paying an estimated $1.8 million an episode, believed to be a new record price for an import.

Both shows will air on flagship net Sky One, which in common with most other U.K. channels, is suffering as audiences continue to fragment.

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