The pay-TV giant has struck an exclusive output deal to be the only place to watch HBO shows from now on. Boardwalk Empire, Martin Scorsese’s series about Atlantic City gangsters, will be the first show to air through the deal in the autumn. Future HBO shows airing exclusively will include Game of Thrones and Luck, executive produced by Michael Mann and starring Dustin Hoffman. The next series of HBO shows such as Entourage and Big Love will also air exclusively on the channel.
The output deal also gives Sky on-demand rights to hit HBO shows such as The Sopranos and Six Feet Under.
Sky is throwing huge amounts of money at programming. It wants to get away from the downmarket image it’s saddled with. Many early adopters lived on council estates – think housing projects – peppering the skyline with satellite dishes. Sky is pulling strenuously upmarket. It’s just announced that it’s taking over ITV’s prestigious arts programme The South Bank Show. And it’s pouring big money into original drama such as Terry Pratchett TV movies and adaptations of crime author Martina Cole.
This year, Sky will spend £1.7 billion ($2.7 billion) on content – most of it on movies and sports rights though. By contrast, ITV will spend £1 billion, Channel 4 £550 million and Channel Five £165 million.
Meanwhile, BSkyB has just announced its fourth-quarter results for the year ending June 30.
Subscribers have increased 90,000 to reach 9.9 million. That means BSkyB is easily on target to reach the magic 10 million subscriber figure by year-end. Nearly one third of subscribers are taking Sky+ high-definition television packages. One in five customers are now taking the “triple play” of TV, broadband and telephony, up 36% year on year.
This quarter’s adjusted EBITDA was £1.2 billion, up 11%. Operating profits rose 10% year on year to £855 million.
It’s hard to look around and not come across an ad for the upcoming fourth season of AMC’s drama Mad Men. There are billboards, promos, reviews, stories, and interviews with the cast and creator Matthew Weiner seemingly everywhere this week, which leads … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Two years after baffling audiences with his abrupt cut-to-black ending for HBO’s The Sopranos, David Chase is back — this time, with a feature film. Unfortunately, it’s not about the Mafia. But the subject matter could be just as compelling. I’ve learned … Read More »
Paramount Delaying 2 Oscar-Buzzed Pics
UPDATE: So now we have a glimpse of a new Paramount in the post-DreamWorks divorce, current credit crunch, era. Also the studio finally clarified the job … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount is beefing up its corporate litigation department. Karen Magid, a well known name in the studio’s legal affairs department, is moving over to the general counsel’s office to go from contracts to litigation. Sources tell me to expect a … Read More »
The Pulitzer-prize winning New Orleans local newspaper thinks it’s an outrage that Lionsgate is releasing Disaster Movie on the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The studio that has hawked torture porn for years has now decided to make a buck off the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people, … Read More »
I was out of the office yesterday but DHD readers already knew what Joe Drake finally announced: that Lionsgate hired Alli Shearmur to head a new production arm as part of the studio’s expansion. See my previous from July 18th: … Read More »
So my sources, BusinessWeek‘s sources, and now TheDeal.com’s sources all report that MGM is for sale despite the studio’s denials. Last night, the well-known financial website (whose articles require a subscription) noted that MGM doesn’t need Goldman Sachs because it already … Read More »
There’s more bad news for the movie studio part-owned by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner with MGM. Last summer, 11 extras dressed in Nazi army uniforms fell out of the back of a World War II-era troop carrier truck as it … Read More »
MGM issued the following statement today after I and BusinessWeek received tips that Goldman Sachs had been retained to shop MGM. (See Goldman Sachs Shopping MGM — Again.) Back when MGM was last … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Because of the writers strike cutting short this past spring’s pilot season, ABC delayed its development so that most of the network’s new primetime scripted series would go midseason. Pilots were shot in July, and today ABC finally started making decisions. None of this has been officially announced:
Better Off Ted — The … Read More »
Yesterday I received a tip from a reliable source in film financing circles telling me that Goldman Sachs had been retained to shop MGM. “It’s doubtful that something will come out of the process. But one never knows,” my insider told … Read More »
Say you’re a downsized Hollywood studio that recently laid off almost all your employees. Well, if you’re New Line you throw the annual summer staff party for those remaining few. Ex-New Liners are emailing me that the pool party on Thursday at Skybar will cost $35,000 and “all … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Sources tell me that Barry Jossen, EVP of physical production at ABC Studios, is replacing Julia Franz as ABC Studios EVP of development. Franz is stepping down voluntarily after recently having a baby. Jossen has been overseeing production for the studio’s slate of … Read More »
UPDATE: Here is the definitive answer to whether there is now a de facto strike or a de facto lockout in Hollywood. I’ve repeatedly opined it’s nonsensical to think there’s been a de facto strike when it’s the Hollywood CEOs who control … Read More »
California governator Arnold Schwarzenegger is so useless — and not just because nearly every morning he sits around drinking coffee in a Brentwood cafe instead of tending to state business in Sacramento. Now, instead of helping the California economy by stopping the networks’ and studios’ runaway … Read More »
Just came back from a meeting to find that Sony Pictures Entertainment has promoted Tommy Gargotta to president of worldwide creative advertising, replacing Josh Goldstine who’ll now work on a few Columbia titles a year as a senior creative exec. (See my previous, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve obtained a shocking official ABC Studios memo written by EVP Howard Davine to showrunners and executive producers with deals there. Those who’ve seen it are shaking their heads in disbelief. “I’m stunned that they would have done this,” one insider tells me. “I can’t believe they actually put this … Read More »
Tonight the AMPTP issued this statement on something they call “final offer retroactivity.” (But if you ask me, it just sounds like the Hollywood moguls don’t want their summer vacations interrupted…):
“The Producers remain committed to making a deal with SAG as soon as possible, which is why the AMPTP’s
… Read More »