Sky to Launch HD Crime Drama Channel

As part of a new multi-year programming deal with NBCUniversal, Sky will launch on April 30 an HD channel dedicated to the distributors’s crime and drama procedurals.

Here’s the media release:

Sky and NBCUniversal sign extensive multi-year deal, delivering new shows, movies, and entertainment channels to Kiwis

Sky and global entertainment giant NBCUniversal (NBCU) have signed an expanded multi-year deal encompassing feature films, drama, comedy, entertainment, reality and news across broadcast channels, on demand and streaming.

The extensive agreement with NBCU includes series produced by Sky Studios and the Universal Studio Group, which is comprised of Universal Television, UCP, NBCU International Studios and Universal Television Alternative Studios. Movies from NBCU’s vast film portfolio, as well as linear channel brands E! and CNBC, will also be a part of this deal, deepening the relationship between Sky and NBCU and bolstering Sky’s content offering across a variety of its channels and platforms, including Neon, Sky Go, Sky On Demand and free-to-air channel Prime.

The deal will deliver thousands of hours of TV series to Sky. This includes new shows Young Rock, The Equalizer and We Are Lady Parts; Sky Studios original productions, including Gangs of London, A Discovery of Witches and Riviera; and a rich library of fan-favourite dramas and sitcoms, including Treadstone, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Office.

Sky Movies and Neon customers can look forward to blockbuster films Trolls World Tour and The Croods: A New Age, in addition to hundreds of other hit movies. From The King of Staten Island and the Bourne franchise to Pitch Perfect and timeless classic Back to the Future, there will be something for every member of the family to enjoy!

Universal TV – the linear channel from NBCU International Networks – will also launch on Sky screens as part of the deal. Making its New Zealand debut on 30 April, Universal TV is a channel dedicated to the best in crime and drama procedurals. Sky will also continue to carry news channel CNBC and hold exclusive broadcast rights to popular entertainment channel E!

Sky Chief Executive, Sophie Moloney, said: “With an amazing stream of new blockbuster movies and TV series to come, an incredible collection of popular library content, a brand-new channel for our customers in Universal TV and continued access to E! and CNBC, we’re really excited by this deal. Not only does it strengthen the depth and breadth of our offering, but it also secures more of the content that our customers love and value. Having tested the channel concept through our Sky Nation panel, customers are excited to be welcoming Universal TV to Sky.”

NBCUniversal’s Managing Director, Distribution and Networks for Australia/New Zealand, Chris Taylor, said: “We are delighted to build upon our longstanding partnership with Sky. This new deal is the most expansive in our history of doing business with Sky and ensures that audiences in New Zealand will continue to be entertained by NBCUniversal’s vast portfolio of stellar drama and comedy series, hit movies and compelling channel brands for many years to come.”

About Sky:

Sky is New Zealand’s leading entertainment company and home to the best and broadest choice in live sport, movies, shows, documentaries and breaking news. Sky offers a suite of viewing choices to suit every New Zealander, whether it’s through the Sky Box and streaming service Sky Go for premium direct-to-home customers, or through its contract-free streaming services Sky Sport Now for sport or Neon for movies and entertainment. Sky also owns free-to-air channel, Prime. Unique New Zealand stories and free-to-air sport are a strong part of Prime’s line-up.

About NBCUniversal Global Distribution:

NBCUniversal Global Distribution is responsible for the licensing and distribution of NBCUniversal product to all forms of television and new media platforms in the U.S., Canada and in over 200 territories internationally. NBCUniversal’s content portfolio includes a vast and diverse library of more than 4,500 feature films and 120,000 television episodes, including current and classic titles, non- scripted programming, kids, sports, news, long-form and short-form programming from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Television, UCP, NBCUniversal International Studios, Sky Studios, NBC Late Night properties, DreamWorks Animation, Telemundo, and more, as well as locally produced content from around the world. Global Distribution is a division of Comcast NBCUniversal.

About NBCUniversal International Networks:

A unit of NBCUniversal’s Direct to Consumer division, NBCUniversal International Networks is one of the world’s premier entertainment portfolios, delivering quality content and compelling brands to over 160 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific. The channel brands in the portfolio include UNIVERSAL TV, SYFY, E! Entertainment Television, 13TH STREET, DIVA, Studio Universal, Telemundo, Bravo and DreamWorks. These unique brands deliver a full range of entertainment experiences to local audiences across the globe.

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21 Responses to “Sky to Launch HD Crime Drama Channel”

  1. Is MSNBC part of this new deal?

  2. Sky only mentions CNBC in the release, Leo. Will let you know if there’s an update but I can’t imagine Sky picking up another news service unless it drops one.

  3. Sky says MSNBC isn’t part of the deal, Leo.

  4. It’s great news for Prime getting a whole new slate of programming but I’m wondering when, for the non-Sky customers, will Prime be streaming online? Also: would this deal not affect Discovery’s Bravo channel, as Bravo’s programming is part of NBC Universal ??

  5. I just wanted to point out that if press releases don’t mention something, then it’s usually not included in any deals or agreements. How does someone think if MSNBC is included when it’s clearly not mentioned.

  6. I was going to ask the same MSNBC question. I’ve asked the question on a LinkedIn post about the deal from one of the Sky execs.

  7. Cheers, Philip, for clarifying this. I only asked because the press release mentioned “news across its broadcast channels”, which I in turn thought it meant MSNBC. So with MSNBC ruled out does this mean Prime News will be airing NBC News content the same way BBC News content airs on 1News? And like others have pointed out, what effect will this deal have on Bravo? Also: Prime does LIVE stream for free on Sky Go and you can view on-demand content such as HBO series Chernobyl and The Undoing, which have aired on Prime.

  8. And for those that still don’t realise, you don’t have to be a Sky subscriber to view the Prime content on Sky Go:

  9. Does this mean no Peacock TV launching in NZ any time soon?

  10. I would say that’s a safe bet, Paul W. There’s only so many subscription dollars you can extract from a market as tiny as ours and I would have thought we were reaching saturation point with the players already operating.

  11. Always well worth checking, Leo. A media release usually covers just the bare bones of an announcement or initiative – some details can get lost in the initial statement. Broadcasters have their own news subscription services so I don’t think the deal would have any impact on Prime News’ reportage. Similarly, should be business as usual on Bravo. It’s a FTA channel so any double-up of content will still find new viewers. And the bulk of the Sky deal will fall outside Bravo’s signature programming.

  12. Cheers Philip, thanks for clearing things up as usual. On another issue, I received an email from Sky saying they will no longer allow access to LIVE stream Prime and access ondemand content through the new SkyGo app unless you subscribe, despite their website saying you can access it without one. It’s like one step forward for Prime and ten steps back. Prime will never embrace streaming or ondemand like TVNZ, Discovery and Maori TV — might as well just put the entire channel behind a paywall and be done with it.

  13. I find that even Sky themselves also hasn’t embraced it properly either as there’s no 5.1 audio or 1080 resolution across the streaming platforms that’s at an acceptable quality or bitrate.

  14. Looking at the EPG channel numbers … where will this channel fit?

  15. Good question, Jon, but Sky’s not saying for the time being — apparently all will be revealed in a press release due next week.

  16. UniversalTV will be Channel 210. Starts with a marathon Law & Order SVU weekend.

  17. Thanks for the update, Mike. I thought it would wind up on the SoHo2 dial.

  18. Where did you get this information from about Universal TV?

  19. Hey, Fsmith. I don’t know where Mike sourced his info from but I’ve just posted this preview based on Sky’s May listings for the channel.

  20. Sorry, Rosco, I know nothing about this series (which, btw, is entitled Dead Places). I’ve asked Netflix Oz about the likelihood of it streaming here but so far no response, and the series doesn’t seem to figure even on usually reliable sites like What’s On Netflix ( Will let you when Netflix Oz gets back to me.

  21. Hi Phil, Thanks for the feedback – I had to do a quick double take at my original post as I thought I had called it Dead Places (and my post on your article “New to View: April 18 – 24” seems to support this correct name – unless of course you corrected the title in my original post!). If I had called Dead Places something else entirely 1) I am very sorry and 2) you must have got the idea of what I was describing as your Digital Spy link was the exact series I had in mind – so good mind-reading!! 🙂 Best I find this series via other sources … 😉

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