Sky has confirmed that the new Sky Atlantic HD channel will launch on the 1st February, promising the very best in entertainment, drama and films to Sky customers across the UK and Ireland.

Sky Atlantic will be free and exclusive to all 10 million Sky customers from its launch on 1st February 2011, with new dramas planned from Paul Abbott (the writer of Shameless) and lots more new comedy, entertainment and documentary programming on the way.

New subscription content

Sky Atlantic HD is also the home of leftfield US favourite HBO in the UK. Additionally, all the major series on Sky Atlantic HD will be available on-demand through Sky's Anytime+ video-on-demand service, including recent classics as The Pacific, The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Flight of the Conchords and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

"Following Sky's exclusive output deal with HBO and series deals with Lionsgate Television for Mad Men and CBS Studios International for Blue Bloods and The Borgias, Sky Atlantic HD will be an exclusive destination for many of the most hotly-anticipated shows in television," reads Sky's announcement press release.

"In combination with Sky 1 HD (channel #106) and Sky Living HD (#107), Sky Atlantic HD (#108) will offer Sky customers access to a comprehensive range of subscription content that appeals to all ages and interests, helping to further differentiate pay TV in the areas of entertainment, drama and comedy."

Stuart Murphy, Director of Programmes for Sky 1 HD and Sky Atlantic HD, said of the latest offering from Sky: "Sky Atlantic HD will be such an incredible channel: seminal, world-class, epic TV all in one place. Unlike other broadcasters, Sky won't hide these series in the twilight hours – we feel incredibly proud of this content and feel privileged to air it in peak time, in high definition, exclusively for all Sky customers."