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Sky invests £500 million in content production during 2022

The figure was cited in Sky's annual impact report published this week.

The figure was cited in Sky's annual impact report published this week.

A Sky Glass smart television set equipped with a Sky Live camera. (Image courtesy Comcast)
A Sky Glass smart television set equipped with a Sky Live camera. (Image courtesy Comcast)

Comcast’s European pay television provider Sky Group says it invested hundreds of millions of British pounds producing content across the continent last year.

The statement was made in Sky’s annual impact report published this week, in which the company asserted it spent £500 million (about $634 million, €581 million) in content production across the continent.

The investment helped Sky distribute more than 200 originals across its own platforms, Sky Group CEO Dana Strong said in the report. It also stimulated local economies in the areas where Sky does business, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Spain.

In the United Kingdom, Sky continued to build out its massive film and television studio space called Sky Studios Elstree in the west London district of Osterley. When it is complete, Sky Studios Elstree will include 13 sound stages that range in size from 10,000 to 40,000 square feet. Sky claims it will help increase localized production by £3 billion ($3.81 billion, €3.49 billion) during its first five years in operation.

Sky is already one of the largest commercial media companies in Europe. It claims to have contributed £29 billion ($36.7 billion, €33.6 billion) to Europe’s gross domestic product by employing 34,700 workers across countries and paying £1.8 billion ($2.28 billion, €2.1 billion) in taxes.

Some other areas highlighted in Sky’s impact report for 2022:

• Sky Group increased the number of women employed in its business by 2.5 percent to 38.2 percent, with women in senior positions increasing 0.1 percent to 36.6 percent. Ethnic minorities comprise 19.2 percent of its workforce, including 3.8 percent who identify as Black. One in 10 senior managers are of a minority background.

• Comcast increased the number of countries where Sky News is available on broadcast, cable and through streaming to 138, where it is free to access. The channel reaches more than 100 million people each month.

• Sky Arts is available as a free-to-air channel across the United Kingdom and Ireland, and reaches more than 200,000 primary school children in those countries.

• Comcast’s streaming device Sky Stream Puck launched in 2022, and is viewed as a tool to help the company achieve its net-zero carbon emission goal by 2030.

• A community-based initiative program called Sky Up is now available in 26 locations, and helps empower young and elderly citizens alike with broadband-based tools they need to succeed, grow and thrive.

• In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Sky works with more than a dozen repair and recycling centers who take in old satellite dishes, cables and accessories turned in by customers.

• The company continues to partner with Paramount Global on a streaming service called Sky Showtime, which is available in dozens of European countries like Denmark, Finland, Poland and Montenegro where Comcast and Paramount have traditionally lacked business or brand awareness.

• Sky continues to retrofit its vehicle fleet to meet net-zero carbon emissions goals, and has been certified net-zero across various content brands, including Sky Sports and Sky News.

• On equality initiatives, Sky Sports provided nearly 570 hours of coverage for women’s sports, more than any other British-based broadcaster, with a women’s professional boxing event drawing over 2 million fans. Sky Sports continues to partner with the Women’s Sport Collective.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).