Sky Atlantic is to become the exclusive home to Showtime programming in major European markets under Sky’s new long-term licensing agreement with CBS Corp. The deal covers all countries where Sky is present, including the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy, and has a reach of 21M subscribers. Previously, Sky has licensed select Showtime content from CBS on a program-by-program basis and the companies have been involved together as partners on gothic horror series Penny Dreadful. Sky Atlantic is already home to HBO programming through 2020, and this deal will increase its offer considerably while marking another step in Showtime’s global expansion.
This is the largest international deal to date for Showtime and the first time its content portfolio has been licensed to a single media company across multiple European territories. Last year, CBS and Bell Media set a similar exclusive agreement for Showtime in Canada and executives have expressed a desire to continue to grow Showtime’s reach globally.
All new and future series fall under the new pact including recent debut Billions, the return of Twin Peaks and upcoming seasons of Ray Donovan and The Affair. Customers will also have on-demand access to the Showtime catalogue (Californication, Dexter, Nurse Jackie and more) via Sky Go. At Mipcom in October, Showtime President David Nevins praised Sky’s strategy. “I look at what Sky does in the UK with a bit of jealousy.”
Alongside scripted content, Sky will have an exclusive option to take all new Showtime distributed unscripted shows. The partners say that premiere dates for the programming may vary by country, and current rights agreements with other platforms will remain unchanged.