Sky and HBO Set to Renew Programming Deal

Sky is set to renew its huge output deal with HBO, guaranteeing Sky’s subscribers continued access to the premium U.S. cabler’s much-coveted fare.

Comcast-owned pay-TV giant Sky has a longstanding deal with HBO that gives it all of the WarnerMedia company’s big-ticket drama. With WarnerMedia preparing to launch the HBO Max streaming service next spring, there was speculation that the programming deal with Sky was under threat. But a new deal is expected to be announced as soon as Wednesday, sources tell Variety.

Both WarnerMedia and Sky declined to comment.

The new agreement is expected to include details on how Sky will work with HBO Max, meaning that Sky could carry some of the latter’s slate of originals on its pay-TV and streaming services in Europe. Paybox Sky operates in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy.

Sky is sinking big bucks into its own original content through its recently formed Sky Studios, with the intent of upping its investment in programming to more than $1 billion a year within the next five years. Sky Studios will fully fund programming and co-produce. In recent times, Sky and HBO have successfully teamed on dramas including nuclear disaster series “Chernobyl,” which cleaned up at the Emmys.

Local content is viewed by Sky as an increasingly important selling point in attracting and retaining subscribers. But premium drama from the U.S. also performs well for the pay-TV outfit. The final season of “Game of Thrones” was a ratings record-setter for Sky. Whether the new deal will include the upcoming “Game of Thrones” spinoffs depends on when they are delivered and the duration of the new HBO-Sky agreement.

More TV

  • Kobe Bryant Staples Center memorial

    Kobe Bryant Mourners Gather Outside Staples Center to Remember Basketball Great

    Within hours of the news of Kobe Bryant’s death breaking, a fast-growing crowd of about two hundred people had gathered outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon to mourn the Lakers legend, who died earlier that day in a helicopter crash. Chants of “Kobe! Kobe!” broke out spontaneously outside of the [...]

  • Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile -

    Tanya Tucker Wins First Grammys, 47 Years After First Nomination

    Country music legend Tanya Tucker picked up her first two wins at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The 61-year-old singer won for best country song for “Bring My Flowers Now” and best country album for “While I’m Livin’.” “After 50 years in this business, I have a [...]

  • Kobe Bryant death

    News and Sports Outlets Scramble to Cover Kobe Bryant's Death

    Kobe Bryant’s shocking death forced major TV news and sports outlets to scramble on Sunday to cover the helicopter crash in Southern California that took the life of the legendary 41-year-old basketball star,  his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others. From the BBC to Fox News, Bryant’s death dominated coverage as soon as word surfaced [...]

  • Grammy placeholder

    Grammys Winners 2020: The Full List (Updating Live)

    The 62nd annual Grammy Awards kick off Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. This year’s top nominees include Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X, whom are all scheduled to perform on the primetime telecast, in addition to Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani and more. The Grammys pre-show [...]

  • Lil Nas X Variety Cover Story

    Lil Nas X as Fashion Icon: The Rapper Runs Down Some of His Top Looks

    Already anointed a style icon by W magazine for “exploring uncharted territory in men’s fashion” and “redefining masculine expression,” Lil Nas X counted year-end best-dressed lists among his 2019 streaming and airplay accolades. Describing his fashion sense as “very experimental,” the rapper runs down a few of his top looks from last year. MTV Video [...]

  • Christopher Cross Grammys 1981

    Christopher Cross' 1981 Grammy Sweep Was the Best That He Would Do

    In the history of the Academy Awards, only three films have won the Hollywood equivalent of the royal flush — collecting statues for best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay — and it’s safe to say all have held up fairly well: “It Happened One Night,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “The Silence [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content