US premium cable broadcaster HBO is in talks with British pay TV broadcaster BSkyB to develop international coproductions.
This marks a significant move for the Time Warner-owned network, whose only current international coproduction partner is British public broadcaster the BBC.
This follows BSkyB’s output deal with HBO for its Sky Atlantic channel.
Michael Lombardo, president of programming, HBO, told TBI that it would look to move further into international production. “Historically, we found a common ground with the BBC with the kind of programming that they were interested in developing and the kind we were producing and now we’re looking at some stuff with BSkyB. We’re absolutely open to that.”
However, he warned that there would have to be organic reasons for any deal. “What we won’t do is compromise the voice so you have to be sure what you don’t do is craft a voice that’s built for a coproduction,” he said.
HBO has found recent success with Aaron Sorkin’s cable news drama The Newsroom, which launched earlier this week with 2.1 million viewers, as well as Lena Dunham’s Girls and Armando Iannucci’s Veep.
HBO has partnered with the BBC on series including Rome, Parade’s End and Life’s Too Short. Its sister channel Cinemax, meanwhile, has struck international coproductions with the News Corp-backed broadcaster before including Strike Back with Sky1, but this would be the first time that the main HBO network has partnered with Sky.