Sky UK boosts original content as it takes on streaming rivals

TV company aims to be releasing a new film every week by 2022, with 30 due this year.

Sky UK is squaring up to Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ in the battle for viewers by increasing its number of original British shows by 50% and releasing a new, exclusive film every fortnight, including a Danny Boyle-backed biopic about the Britpop record label Creation Records.

Fuelled by Britain’s appetite for bingeing on new shows during the pandemic, the number of UK subscribers to the main three streaming services is now approximately 32m – double that of traditional pay-TV companies such as Sky, BT and Virgin Media.

With UK lockdowns pushing up digital viewing by 38% last year, the demand for new content is booming but so is the competition from the big streaming companies. This month Netflix announced it was to start releasing at least one new film a week. Sky UK’s managing director of content, Zai Bennett, told the Guardian that Sky would do the same from 2022 and had increased its number of original films from two in 2020 to 30 this year.

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