Sky is investing over €2m (£2.2m) in its search for the next hit Irish entertainment show for its Sky 1 channel, to follow in the footsteps of Moone Boy and 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy.
The announcement of the new content fund is a boost for the Irish production sector, as Sky looks to build on the success of the International Emmy Award winning Moone Boy, which stars Chris O’Dowd, and the three-series hit, 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy.
To coincide with the funding announcement, Sky’s Head of Entertainment, Philip Edgar Jones, was in Dublin to call upon the Irish Independent Production sector to submit their programming ideas.
Submissions should focus on Entertainment / Factual Entertainment and Comedy Ents genres, with Mr Philip’s saying the Irish sector has a “real talent for creating good entertainment”.
“We’re looking for imaginative ideas, that’s why we’ve come here and launched this new fund,” Mr Philip’s told IFTN.
“Ideas being submitted should be universal – it should have the ambition to be able to sell in America at some point as a TV format.
“Ireland has a thriving production sector and we want to bring the biggest and best of Irish entertainment to Sky customers across Europe.
“Sky 1 is the home of entertainment and we are looking for bold, action-packed shows. We’re very excited and encouraged by the discussions we have been having with Irish Indies.
“We don’t want to do things small-scale, we want to spend a bit of money on them and do them at a big scale – it should look like a movie and feel like a movie but in a real setting and have some authenticity.”
JD Buckley, Managing Director, Sky Ireland, said: “This is wonderful news for both Sky Ireland and for writers, producers and directors working here.
“This €2m + content fund again underpins Sky’s commitment to Ireland and to producing great original content here.
“We’ve already enjoyed great success with programmes such as 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy and Moone Boy and we’re excited by the prospect of yet another creative hit coming out of Ireland.”
Alongside Sky Original Productions, Sky continues to invest in acquired content for customers in Ireland, including 3pm Premier League games exclusive to Irish viewers, GAA rights and recently launched a Sky News Dublin bureau which will see Dublin Correspondent Daren McCaffrey joining Sky Ireland at the end of this month.
Sky Ireland is also working on a new co-funded project with the Irish Film Board, details of which will be announced in the autumn.