Sky has extended its long-term distribution partnership with A+E Networks, the pay-TV broadcaster announced Wednesday. The deal will see Sky continue to handle the A+E’s portfolio of six brand channels in the five European markets that Sky operates in: the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Austria.
“It’s great to have built on Sky’s decade-long relationship with A+E with this pan-European partnership,” said Rob Webster, group director of partner channels at Sky. “Customers across all of our regions continue to enjoy world-class content thanks to Sky’s partnerships with companies like A+E who trust us to treat their brands and content as if they were our own.”
The partnership brings A+E channels History, Lifetime, Crime + Investigation, H2, A&E and Blaze to Sky’s 22.4 million European customers. Sky subscribers will also be able to access A+E channel content via non-linear platforms, including through Sky’s over-the-top NOW TV service in Italy and enhanced content offerings through Sky Go in Britain and Germany.
The deal will see A+E Studios’ “Roots” remake (pictured) play on its History channel in Britain later this summer, after having aired recently on the channel in Germany and Italy. The company’s commitment to increased investment in local productions will also provide a stronger individualized offering for Sky customers with shows such as “Ronnie O’Sullivan’s American Hustle” and “Britain’s Next Top Model” in the U.K.; “Mafia Queens” in Italy; and “History Hunters” in Germany.
A+E Networks U.K. is a joint venture between Sky and A+E, launched in 1995, with 18 channels. The company’s German operation is a joint venture with Universal Networks Intl. A+E Networks Italy, launched in February 2014, is the company’s first wholly owned European branch. It launched new brand Blaze, available exclusively through Sky Italia, in March this year. Blaze is also available in the U.K., where it launched in September last year.