Sky CEO Dana Strong has said she is “optimistic” that the company’s UK unit can keep hold of HBO content when its deal with Warner Bros. Discovery comes up for renewal in 2026.
Strong, who has led the Comcast-owned pay-TV operator for nearly three years, said that Sky had represented shows including Succession and Game of Thrones “extremely well” in the UK.
She argued that its relationships with external partners had shown that it can be better to work with Sky than against the company in wringing value out of content.
“We’re quite optimistic that the logic … of doing business together so that both parties have a better outcome in the market [means] we’ll be able to find our way through that [HBO renewal],” Strong said at the RTS Cambridge Convention.
German Sale Ruled Out?
Strong also seemingly ruled out a sale of Sky’s German unit, Sky Deutschland. She said the appointment of a new CEO Barny Mills earlier this month was evidence “that we’re in it,” adding that there is “a lot of potential” for streaming in the German market.
Strong presented Sky research showing international demand for British TV shows is set to grow by 50% over the next decade.
It found that the UK media and entertainment sector has the potential to be worth an additional £10B ($12.3B) by 2033 — rising to £53B ($66B) and adding 40,000 more British jobs.
But Sky called for several policy overhauls in order to pave the way. Sky said “regular benchmarking” of the UK’s TV tax credits should be carried out to make sure the country is keeping up with other territories.
Strong also called for a broadening of R&D tax credits to include “creative endeavors” after finding that a day week of Sky’s technology resources are deployed on regulatory requirements, at a “significant cost to the business.”