‘Fortitude’ appears to have been a massive hit for Sky Vision – the international distribution arm of Sky. And I’m not surprised, I’ve been parked on the settee watching this new series with relish, and it really does come across as a professional, cinematic production of the highest quality.
From the opening chill of the ice tentacle graphics to the unsettling score of the aptly surnamed Ben Frost, it features some of the World’s finest actors, Michael Gambon is terrific and Richard Dormer gives it that ‘small town sheriff’ menace so brilliantly portrayed in First Blood. I am already hooked and guess what – it totally reinforces my loyalty to the Sky service.
Speaking with a relative this weekend who didn’t have Sky and hadn’t seen the first two episodes I was even more ‘Skyvocate’ than usual – and I needed to suppress a little bit of one-upmanship in my conversation.
I have blogged already about the power of Sports, but now Sky has moved to another level and is investing in content that will surely reach a much wider audience. Rights have been sold across Europe and US, so through investing in its own content, Sky is creating additional, and no doubt profitable revenue streams.
It will be interesting to see if BT moves more into this direction as it develops its Quad offering. BT Sports was a great start, but they need to compete across the full range of their customer segments – so being able to develop and sell or at least offer access to high quality non-sports programming will continue to be key. It will not always be cost-effective to create content, hence the deals that Netflix, and the Premier League have struck to make their content available to Vodafone and Virgin Media, but if you can find the right balance and produce top quality shows, then Sky is showing that this is a highly effective strategy.
How long before others join the production race with new dramas being created for and distributed by the likes of BT, Vodafone, and Virgin Media? Great news for us as customers – the more quality programming that is available – the better.
By the way don’t ring me on Thursday night after 8pm!
Photo by Tadie 88 licensed under Creative Commons