Sky Snares Fox Fare

Great news for HD drama fans who subscribe to SoHo — Sky has picked up Homeland, The Americans and American Horror Story as part of a content deal with 20th Century Fox Television.

Not such good news is HD drawcards Modern Family, Bones and Sleepy Hollow are going to Prime, where they’ll screen only in SD.

While the deal was always a possibility, it’s surprising TVNZ didn’t outbid Sky for these shows given it would have made TV2’s schedule bulletproof and considerably enhanced TV One’s.

Here’s the full press release:

Sky Television has secured a content package deal with 20th Century Fox Television which will see a range of content screen across the network’s channels, both pay and free-to-air.

 Sky’s director of programming Travis Dunbar says the deal will put an end to Kiwi viewers’ speculation on how they can catch up with their favourite Fox series.

“We are excited to give critically acclaimed series Homeland, The Americans and American Horror Story a home on SoHo, Sky’s premium drama channel.

“These dramas are made for US pay networks to screen un-cut and uninterrupted and in a prime time slot – making them perfect to include in our SoHo schedule.”

 He added: “Our subscribers know that when we commit to a series they can rest assured it is in an environment that is not affected by ratings and therefore is not subject to being moved dependent on performance.

 “We are also mindful that fans have had to wait longer than usual to see the latest episodes of these popular series so we are working hard with Fox to get them on-air as soon as possible.  Going forward we will screen them on fast turnaround after their US premiere as we do with the majority of our SoHo series.”

 The package deal also includes the breakout new season hit Sleepy Hollow and well-established favourites Bones and Modern Family, all of which will screen free-to-air on Prime.

 “We are very excited to include these key shows in Prime’s schedule,” said head of Prime Karen Bieleski.

 “Over the years Kathy Wright and her team have been steadily investing in Prime’s programming slate. It is terrific to bring our viewers these much-loved series which we are confident will find a great free-to-air home with us,” she said.

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6 Responses to “Sky Snares Fox Fare”

  1. More reason for Prime to be upgraded to HD … perhaps we should march on Sky 🙂

  2. Oh, I wish TVNZ had secured the rights, at least the free-to-air fare would be in HD! Prime needs to be converted immediately to HD! I’m rather surprised as well that TVNZ didn’t go all out to secure some Fox content but maybe the broadcaster didn’t want to over stretch themselves with programme deals considering the amount they have at the moment. I will miss American Horror Story and will find other means of watching as I don’t want to pay for Sky! There is still the whereabouts of Brooklyn Nine Nine , which is yet to be confirmed. This new Sky deal might also signal their intention to acquire the discarded NBC leftovers that MediaWorks passed on. Interesting times in TV land.

  3. “It’s surprising TVNZ didn’t outbid Sky for these shows given it would have made TV2′s schedule bulletproof and considerably enhanced TV One’s.” Maybe TVNZ doesn’t have the same bottomless bucket of money that Sky has any longer. I don’t think we will see Prime go HD via over the air any time soon. Maybe on the Sky satellite platform, though.

  4. OK, nice to see MediaWorks get some most of their Fox content back. Plus Bones, Modern Family and Sleepy Hollow on Prime. But my main question is of The Americans, American Horror Story and Homeland on Soho. What does that mean for the free-to-airs viewers? Does it mean we dont see them any more (as most of us don’t own Sky)? I’m glad these shows are back. My parents love Homeland and they’re not gonna’ buy Sky. Seems fair that all shows above mentioned go on Prime, shouldn’t they … ?

  5. Yes, Leo, it’s another blow for free-to-air viewers to see these series go to Sky, especially as TV3 aired Homeland and The Americans not only in HD but also within hours of the US (although as a SoHo subscriber, I welcome the chance to see American Horror Story in HD and much nearer its US transmission). The other downside of Fox not having an output pact with a NZ broadcaster is series like Brooklyn Nine Nine may be deemed too American for purchasing outside of a volume deal.

  6. Homeland may get a run on Prime, Richard, as the channel does with SoHo series like Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and Strike Back. But The Americans and American Horror Story will be seen as too niche for the broadcaster. After all, even before its Fox acquisitions, Prime still had enough inventory to no longer have to pad its schedule with Mad Men.

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