Sky is to boost its arts programming by opening a dedicated production hub in Milan and the rolling out its Sky Arts channel to Germany and Austria.
The hub will pool the broadcaster’s investment in arts and factual content, as well as creating pan-European cultural event programming, starting with Sky Arts Photographer of the Year in 2016.
As well as the liner broadcast channel, programmes will also be available on a new video on demand service.
UK viewers will see the current Sky Arts 1 and Sky Arts 2 channels merged on June 9th to create a “superchannel” bringing together all of the broadcaster’s arts programming.
Last year Sky bought out its German and Italian namesakes, creating a European pay-TV giant serving 21 million customers in five countries. Today’s arts initiative is one of the firm’s first moves to leverage the cost efficiencies and creative opportunities offered by the merger.
Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky said: “Bringing the three Sky businesses together has opened up the opportunity to create new and exciting content on a greater scale.
“As an international company, we can raise our ambition and make a bigger impact for millions of customers across Europe.
Today’s announcement represents a major new commitment which will bring customers high-quality and distinctive content covering the full breadth of the arts.
“It builds on Sky’s position as Europe’s leading entertainment company and underlines our ambition to invest at scale in even more of our own original content.”