Sky Atlantic kick-starts Sky's TV conquest
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With a rumoured £30 million spent on the pilot episode, Sky Atlantic’s main attraction Boardwalk Empire epitomises the one thing Sky has over all other British broadcasters. Money. And lots of it. 2011 sees the year that Sky goes for global domination, intentionally treading on the toes of the big British institutions on its way up. Sky Atlantic has whipped the metaphorical rug from under the feet of the BBC by waving big bucks for the next series of Mad-Men, whilst also swiping away Entourage from ITV2. More4’s Curb Your Enthusiasm also joins the long list of Sky’s most recent acquisitions. This has caused more than a rumble or seven in the British TV industry, when all the aforementioned shows were previously on free-to-air channels (available through your Freeview box) but are now exclusive to those with a Sky monthly subscription. Even our good favourite Living TV, with its large doses of reality TV, US chat shows and plastic surgery programming, has been bought out by Sky and given a glossy new facelift itself. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming Murdoch-owned Sky is the Y-Fronts-On-Top-Of-PVC-Outfit superhero we have been waiting for, Rupert and son James both openly campaign for the end of the licence fee and the BBC as we know it today. The Murdoch’s also want to see a cut in TV regulation, such as the amount of time dedicated to advertising and specialist programming, which believe me, isn’t going to do much good for British TV. However, I think the recent launch and re-branding of Sky as a glossy and current broadcaster to compete with our British treasures can only nourish the viewing diets of the nation. After all, it’s what we all wanted, right? How many times have you googled the next series of Lost, The Hills or Gossip Girl, only to find the US has had it months before the UK? Not anymore. How many times have you complained about the amount of drama repeats (see: Friends and Scrubs for more information), or general lack of ‘good TV’ on our channels?
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