LONDON — Pay TV operator Sky has signed its first pan-European movie deal. The exclusive pact with Sony Pictures covers the countries in which Sky operates, which are the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy.
Sky has already struck pan-European deals for TV series with HBO and Showtime, but this is its first pact with a Hollywood studio for movies. Sky’s movie deals in the past have been made on a country-by-country basis.
The Sony Pictures agreement, which covers Sky’s subscription and transactional movie services, allows it to deliver new movies to its 21 million customers more than a year ahead of any other subscription service and only a few months after they have been released in movie theaters. The package comprises all new and future Sony releases, including “Ghostbusters,” “Angry Birds,” “Money Monster” and “Inferno,” and also includes library titles such as “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Philadelphia” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and franchises such as “Men in Black” and “The Karate Kid.”
Following its £6.9 billion ($9.77 billion) acquisition of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia two years ago the company has been seeking to negotiate deals with content suppliers for all its territories. The ability to do this was seen as one of the benefits of the merger of the three Sky networks.
The deal comes ahead of the release of Sky’s third-quarter results later this week. UBS analysts told the Financial Times Monday that Sky’s revenue is forecast to grow 5% to £8.7 billion ($12.3 billion) for the first nine months of the year, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation are set to rise 10% to £1.1 billion ($1.56 billion).
News of the Sony deal first appeared in the Financial Times.