Sky announces big HBO deal as competition ramps up

Content is king, and not just the football

Sky has sealed a new deal with HBO to continue to showing the US giant's shows until at least 2020 as well as partnering in making new programmes.

The UK broadcaster's latest figures show that increased competition is having an impact on its profits, so it's taking drastic measures to boost its offering.

Content is king for the big television platforms and BT's decision to compete by showing top flight English football has brought a major new competitor to Sky to the fore.

However, Sky is hoping that its entertainment portfolio, including HBO shows like Girls and Game Of Thrones shown on the Sky Atlantic channel, can help stave off the threat, and the new deal is a clear indication that it is taking the fight back to BT.

Game of Thrones

HBO produces some of the most popular programmes on UK subscriptions television, including Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and classic shows such as The Sopranos.

The extended output deal is a multiplatform one, allowing for online and mobile viewing through the Sky Go service and the pay-per-view Now TV platform.

The company's battle with BT is put into context by the latest financial results, with operating profit down by 16.8%, although the company is highlighting the rise in connected set top boxes and on demand viewing.

In fact, figures are better than was widely expected, driven by a new raft of subscribers in the past six months.

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Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.