October 01, 2010

Sky to launch Sky Atlantic

No word yet as to whether Virgin Media will carry this, just too early to say. The word "exclusive" is used repeatedly in the Sky Press Release, but only in reference to the series it will be showing, not to it only being available to Sky customers.
So on the day we gain Sky 1 HD, Sky announces it will launch another channel to carry the premium US content and we're none the wiser as to whether we will get it in either SD or HD on cable. Ho hum. I suspect we won't hear any confirmation on Virgin Media carriage until a lot nearer the launch next year.
From The Guardian
BSkyB is to launch a new subscription channel, Sky Atlantic, that will be home to US imports including Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and Treme.
Sky Atlantic will have the UK TV premieres of HBO shows including Martin Scorsese's critically lauded prohibition era drama Boardwalk Empire and The Wire co-creator David Simon's new show, Treme.BSkyB also confirmed today that it has secured the exclusive UK broadcast rights to AMC's Mad Men from next year's series five for the life of the show. Mad Men will also be broadcast on Sky Atlantic.
Other HBO programmes that will premiere on Sky Atlantic include Luck, executive produced by David Milch and Michael Mann and starring Dustin Hoffman; Mildred Pierce, featuring Kate Winslet; and fantasy drama Game of Thrones. Future series of HBO shows such as Entourage and Big Love will also be shown on the channel.
BSkyB said that it could not at this stage confirm any wholesale deals with other pay-TV operators, such as Virgin Media, to carry Sky Atlantic.


Moroboshi said...

So they've snatched Mad Men away from the BBC and will hide it behind an obnoxious Murdoch pay wall. Nice, thanks for that.

I'm assuming we won't get this new channel either, or if we do, it will be in some sort of miserable ultra compressed SD form.

Well I guess when things like this happen, other sources become attractive, some of which may or may not involved bittorrent.

Nialli said...

I think we will get it, both SD and HD. Sky has little to gain keeping prestige shows with such small audiences exclusively on its own platform. Mad Men, for all the talk (and it is excellent) struggles for viewers on BBC4 - it would be a wasted investment if Sky excluded the 4m Virgin viewers from its audience. Sky Atlantic is never going to draw huge audiences no matter how great the programming is. It may even fill the slot in the carriage deal Virgin had for Bravo (albeit just SD).
Mind you, I thought Sky would put this new US content on the Sky Premier movie channel, so what do I know?

mercelous said...

Surely Sky are not allowed to stop other platforms from having access to the programming on Sky Atlantic whether they have to pay for the channel or not as this has to come under the "monopolising the market rules". You can't take programmes available to everyone free or via pay format as they are now to then only make them available if you get Sky. That is surely blatant monopolising.

Nialli said...

Sky has done it repeatedly in the past: Lost, House, Prison Break, etc. The only crumb of comfort is that almost every series they have put behind their pay curtain has subsequently deteriorated in quality almost immediately!

mercelous said...

Regarding nialli reply that is true but sky one has always been available to everyone even though you have to pay for it in a package but they can't now only allow you to see the programmes on sky Atlantic only by subscribing to sky. It is unfair competition. I'm sure offcom will not allow it.

matthew said...

off topic slightly..is anyone else getting Sky 1HD Simpsons in 4:3 ratio(i think) with the black letterbox either side...nothing else seems to be affected,but annoying!!!

Jez said...

Re the simpsons - that is the ratio the series is produced in and broadcast in it's native resolution on HD channels - no widescreen here i'm afraid. Check the back of the official dvd's too 1.33:1.
Same with Family Guy on FX, Simpsons on Ch4 HD etc

Nialli said...

@mercelous: we do not know that the channel will be exclusive to Sky - Sky would be promoting that now, they're hardly shy about such matters.
This is a minority channel at best - if it was a premium channel it may be a Sky exclusive, but it's not.
Virgin (and Sky) customers have lost a number of Sky channels: Real Life 1 and 2, Bravo, Bravo 2, Channel 1, Channel 2, Trouble, and the associated +1s and HDs. We're talking about a single new channel - it's not a quantum leap.
Personally, I think the timing is a spoiler for Sky 1 HD arriving on VM today - maybe a bit of tit-for-tat for VM spoiling the Sky 3D launch?

matthew said...

thanks Jez

Moroboshi said...

If this is Sky's new channel for US imports, what's to stop them moving all their US content to this new channel? Sky One could loose House, Fringe, Bones, Stargate, NCIS... the works.

Instead Sky One would be filled with all of Sky's home grown high brow programming, intelligent non-tabloid stuff such as 'idiots abroad', and 'wayne roonys striker'. Sky One could become just another dumping ground for brain dead sewage, - it's already half way there.

Sky will do anything to try and spoil the chances of their competition, so I wouldn't put this past them for a second. Unfortunately they fail to realise that when they take away what was once free, people just get it elsewhere. I don't like being bullied by a toe rag like Murdoch, and WILL be watching the next season of Mad Men in HD without paying Murdoch a penny.

Anonymous said...

Jez. Fox television have been broadcasting the simpsons in HD and in widescreen format since last season.
As far as I am aware skytv have not got the HD version (widescreen) thereby only being able to show it as 4:3 format.

As for Family Guy and American Dad, neither show have been converted to HD or in widescreen at this time. Though rumor as it that fox will transmit both shows in HD Widescreen this coming soon.

Dont expect to see either show's new season before next year.

I really am not concerned in the slightest what sky do because I download all the shows i want when they air in the US/Canada..screw british television anyway its trash anyway.

Also you should not be surprised sky will remove their premium content to another channel..they have been threatening to do this for a few years no (aka sep sub to sky 1.).

There is nothing stopping them from doing much of any on their channels. If they want to move things around and force people to subscribe to a new channel there is nothing anyone can do to stop them..long gone are the days of monopolizing everything. The government have conceded when murdoch did a deal with the last labour party..what more needs to be said? Take a look at the premier league..5 years ago they where simply not allowed to cover more than a certain number of matches per season then out the blue they suddenly have 115 live prem matches. ESPN relegated to a handful of matches a season..same with the bbc loosing its championship coverage.

The question one should be asking is how long til they own virgin media..we no longer have any virgin channels left, ie bravo, living etc.

I suppose they would think they'd get more viewers..I tend to find most sky viewers oblivious to any thing they do which is shocking in itself.