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Sky Atlantic
Sky Atlantic 2020.png
Launched1 February 2011; 9 years ago (2011-02-01)
Owned bySky Group (Comcast)
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed.)
Audience share0.22% (Including +1) (22 March 2020 (2020-03-22), BARB)
SloganThe Home of World Class Television[1]/The Home of HBO[2]/Let The Stories Begin
Broadcast area
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
ReplacedChannel One
Sister channel(s)Blaze
Crime & Investigation
Sky One
Sky Arts
Sky Cinema
Sky Comedy
Sky Crime
Sky Documentaries
Sky History
Sky History 2
Sky Nature
Sky News
Sky Replay
Sky Sports
Sky Sports Box Office
Sky Sports F1
Sky Sports News
Sky Sports Racing
Sky Witness
Timeshift serviceSky Atlantic +1
SkyChannel 108 (SD/HD)
Channel 208 (+1)
Channel 808 (SD)
On Demand
BT TV (via Now TV)Channel 342
Channel 357 (HD)
Streaming media
Sky GoWatch live (UK and Ireland only)
Now TVWatch live (UK and Ireland only)

Sky Atlantic is a British pay television channel owned by Sky Group Limited. The channel is primarily dedicated to imported programmes from the United States, and holds the domestic rights to HBO and Showtime dramas, but also broadcast many original Sky productions. It is exclusively available on the Sky satellite TV platform (including Sky Go) and Sky's Now TV platform.[3]

Sky Deutschland broadcasts a German-language version of the channel in Germany and Austria, while Sky Italia broadcasts an Italian-language version of the channel in Italy. Their programming is also dominated by HBO and Showtime series, usually dubbed in the domestic language. The Italian channel also premieres Sky Originals produced in the country, like The Young Pope and Gomorrah.


Sky Atlantic launched on 1 February 2011 on Sky in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[1][4][5] Separated channels with the same name operate in Germany, Austria and Italy.

Sky Atlantic is available in both standard definition and high definition, the latter on Sky Atlantic HD.[6] Stuart Murphy extended his responsibilities to become director of programmes for Sky One, Sky Two, Pick and Sky Atlantic.[4] On 5 May 2011, Elaine Pyke, the head of drama at Sky, was promoted to director of Sky Atlantic, reporting to Murphy.[7]

Programmes on the channel are also offered to Sky customers via on-demand channels including the On Demand and Sky Go services and Now TV. Both BT TV and Virgin Media had held talks with Sky over the new channel but have been unable to agree a carriage deal,[8] in Virgin's case due to pricing.[9]

It was announced on 25 October 2010 that Sky Atlantic would launch on Sky channel 108, which was previously occupied by Sky 3.[10] Sky Atlantic also utilises the HD swap bouquet system developed by Sky, which switches SD channels with HD channels for HD Pack subscribers, meaning Sky Atlantic HD is on channel 108 and the standard definition version appears on channel 808.[11]

Sky Atlantic +1

A one-hour timeshift of Sky Atlantic started broadcasting on 20 September 2012 on channel 173.[12] It moved to channel 170 on 9 June 2015 as part of a reshuffle which also included the closure of Sky 3D, Sky Livingit becoming Real Lives and Sky Arts 1 and Sky Arts 2 merging to become simply Sky Arts. It moved to channel 217 on 18 July 2017 as part of the Sky Sports reshuffle which included Sky Sports Mix moving to entertainment, and again to 208 on 1 May 2018 as part of Sky's major EPG reshuffle due to Sky Atlantic being channel 108.


Sky Atlantic relies heavily on screenings of US television programmes, with 50% of all programming coming from HBO.[13] Although the channel mainly screens dramas, there are blocks in the schedule dedicated to comedies and movies[14][15] The launch of Sky Atlantic followed the broadcaster's £150m,[16] five-year deal to buy exclusive UK and Irish TV rights to HBO's entire archive, new HBO programming and a first-look deal on all co-productions.[17]

In January 2016, Sky expanded the portfolio shown on Atlantic, after purchasing exclusive rights to Showtime programming; however, Sky does not have rights to all Showtime programmes, as some of the shows are aired on Channel 4.

By 2020, with Sky now owned by Comcast, some shows shifted to networks that are part of Comcast's NBCUniversal unit, such as series 1 & 2 of Westworld on Syfy.

First run US programmes

Original programming

Most watched programmes

The following is a list of the ten most watched programmes on Sky Atlantic (all of them being episodes of Game of Thrones), based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 20 May 2019.[18] The number of viewers does not include repeats or Irish ratings. Additionally, all of these episodes were the most viewed programme of the week on non-terrestrial television in the UK. Game of Thrones is Sky's most popular show.[19]

Rank Programme Episode Number of Viewers Date
1 Game of Thrones 8.04 – The Last of the Starks 5,430,451 6 May 2019
2 8.02 – A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms 5,266,034 22 April 2019
4 8.05 – The Bells 5,039,355 13 May 2019
3 8.06 – The Iron Throne 5,011,277 20 May 2019
5 8.03 – The Long Night 4,983,910 29 April 2019
6 8.01 – Winterfell 4,380,834 15 April 2019
7 7.07 – The Dragon and the Wolf 3,535,000 28 August 2017
8 7.01 – Dragonstone 3,487,000 17 July 2017
9 7.05 – Eastwatch 3,420,000 14 August 2017
10 7.03 – The Queen's Justice 3,263,000 31 July 2017


  1. ^ a b "Sky Atlantic: The Home of World Class Television". British Sky Broadcasting. 23 December 2010.
  2. ^ "Sky Atlantic UK". British Sky Broadcasting. YouTube. 23 December 2010.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Sky Atlantic HD is new home of HBO & Mad Men". British Sky Broadcasting. 1 October 2010.
  5. ^ "Sky Atlantic to launch today". RTÉ News. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  6. ^ "Sky to launch Sky Atlantic channel". Digital Spy. 1 October 2010.
  7. ^ Sweney, Mark (5 May 2011). "BSkyB promotes Elaine Pyke to Sky Atlantic director". London: The Guardian.
  8. ^ "Rivals miss out as Sky launches Atlantic channel". London: The Independent. 6 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Virgin Media to miss out on Sky Atlantic". Digital Spy. 4 February 2011.
  10. ^ "Sky confirms strengthened entertainment line-up". British Sky Broadcasting. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  11. ^ "Sky Atlantic to launch next month". Digital Spy. 5 January 2011.
  12. ^ "Sky Atlantic +1 launching, September 20th". imediamonkey. 4 September 2012. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014.
  13. ^ Baker, Matt (31 January 2011). "BSkyB bets on Sky Atlantic to boost subscriber numbers". London: The Guardian.
  14. ^ "Welcome to Sky Atlantic HD" (PDF). Sky Media. 16 November 2010.
  15. ^ "Programme Information Highlights; February Sky Atlantic" (PDF). Sky Programme Information. 21 December 2010.
  16. ^ Sweney, Mark (1 October 2010). "BSkyB to launch Sky Atlantic". London:
  17. ^ "Sky agrees output deal to become the UK home of HBO". British Sky Broadcasting. 29 July 2010.
  18. ^ "Four-screen dashboard | BARB". Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Game of Thrones most popular Sky series ever with 5m viewers". The Guardian. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 17 September 2020, at 15:11
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