Sky Atlantic

Sky Atlantic is a British pay television channel owned by Sky Group Limited broadcast in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The channel is primarily dedicated to imported programmes from the United States, and holds the domestic rights to HBO programming until 2025 , this doesn’t cover HBO Max Original programming. It also broadcasts many original British produced Sky dramas. It is exclusively available on the Sky satellite TV platform (including Sky Go) and Sky's Now TV platform. Unlike the other channels from Sky Group, Sky Atlantic is not on Virgin Media.[1]

Sky Atlantic
Logo used since 2020
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast area
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed.)
Timeshift serviceSky Atlantic +1
OwnerSky Group (Comcast)
Sister channelsBlaze
Crime & Investigation
Sky Arts
Sky Showcase
Sky Cinema
Sky Comedy
Sky Crime
Sky Documentaries
Sky One (until 2021)
Sky History
Sky History 2
Sky Kids
Sky Max
Sky Nature
Sky News
Sky Replay
Sky Sci-Fi
Sky Sports
Sky Sports Box Office
Sky Sports F1
Sky Sports News
Sky Sports Racing
Sky Witness
Launched1 February 2011 (2011-02-01)
Streaming media
Sky GoWatch live (UK and Ireland only)
Now TVWatch live (UK and Ireland only)
Sky Atlantic VIP
Logo used from 2017 to 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast area
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed.)
OwnerSky Group (Comcast)
Launched25 July 2017 (2017-07-25)
Closed12 June 2019 (2019-06-12)

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.[2][3][4] 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.[5] Stuart Murphy extended his responsibilities to become director of programmes for Sky One, Sky Two, Pick and Sky Atlantic.[3] On 5 May 2011, Elaine Pyke, the head of drama at Sky, was promoted to director of Sky Atlantic, reporting to Murphy.[6]

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,[7] in Virgin's case due to pricing.[8]

It was announced on 25 October 2010 that Sky Atlantic would launch on Sky channel 108, which was previously occupied by Sky 3.[9] 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.[10]

Sky Atlantic +1

A one-hour timeshift of Sky Atlantic started broadcasting on 20 September 2012 on channel 173.[11] 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 VIP

Sky Atlantic VIP was a rewards channel for subscribers of Sky TV who had been with Sky for 2 or more years and for subscribers who had the Sky Original Bundle (later Sky Entertainment pack, then Sky Signature pack). The HD version also required the HD pack in the UK and the Sky Box Sets pack in Ireland.

The channel only broadcast brand new episodes of a popular show a week or so before being shown on the main Sky Atlantic channel. An example of this is when episodes of Riviera were shown first on Sky Atlantic VIP, then a week or so later on Sky Atlantic. Sky Atlantic VIP was under Sky VIP's "See-It-First" offer. Sky VIP is a rewards programme for long-term Sky subscribers.

When the channel was not broadcasting a brand new episode of a programme, the channel was off-air resulting in the channel being on-air only for a few hours per week. The channel only broadcast adverts for programmes on Sky channels. The SD version was on Sky channel 994 with the HD version on channel 995. The channel closed on 12 June 2019.

Current programming


Title Genre Premiere Series Length Status Notes
Gangs of London Action crime drama April 23, 2020 2 series, 17 episodes 53 – 93 min. Renewed[12] Co-production with Cinemax (Series 1) and AMC (Series 2–present).
Domina Historical drama May 14, 2021 1 series, 8 episodes 48 – 55 min. Renewed[13] Co-production with Sky Italy and MGM+ (Series 2).[13]
Awaiting release
Django Western February 17, 2023[14] 1 series, 10 episodes TBA Pending Co-production with Canal+

Upcoming programming


Title Genre Premiere Series Length Status Notes
The Lovers[15] Romance drama 2023 1 series, 6 episodes TBA Pending


Title Genre Premiere Series Length Status Notes
Mary and George[16] Historical drama 2023 8 episodes TBA Pending Miniseries. Co-production with AMC.

Former programming


Title Genre Original Broadcast Series Notes
Hit & Miss Crime drama 2012 1 series, 6 episodes Sky Atlantic's first original series.
Fortitude Psychological thriller 2015–18 3 series, 26 episodes
Riviera Crime drama 2017–20 3 series, 28 episodes
Tin Star Crime drama 2017–20 3 series, 25 episodes
Save Me Mystery drama 2018–20 2 series, 12 episodes
Little Birds Historical romance drama 2020 1 series, 6 episodes
This England Biographical drama 2022 1 series, 6 episodes


Title Genre Original Broadcast Series Notes
Walking and Talking Teen comedy 2012 1 series, 4 episodes
Hunderby Historical black comedy 2012–15 2 series, 10 episodes
Mr. Sloane Historical comedy 2014 1 series, 6 episodes
Camping Comedy 2016 1 series, 6 episodes
I Hate Suzie Black comedy 2020 1 series, 8 episodes Moved to Sky Max for series 2.[17]


Title Genre Original Broadcast Series Notes
Falcón Crime drama 2012 4 episodes Miniseries. Co-production with Canal+ and ZDF.
The Tunnel Crime drama 2013–17 3 series, 24 episodes Co-production with Canal+.
Penny Dreadful Dark fantasy drama 2014–16 3 series, 27 episodes Co-production with Showtime.
The Last Panthers Crime drama 2015 6 episodes Miniseries. Co-production with Canal+.
Guerrilla Historical drama 2017 6 episodes Miniseries. Co-production with Showtime.
Britannia Historical fantasy 2018–21 3 series, 27 episodes Co-production with Amazon Prime Video (Series 1) and Epix (Series 3).
Patrick Melrose Drama 2018 5 episodes Miniseries. Co-production with Showtime.
Sally4Ever Comedy 2018 1 series, 7 episodes Co-production with HBO.
Chernobyl Historical drama 2019 5 episodes Miniseries. Co-production with HBO.
Catherine the Great Historical drama 2019 4 episodes Miniseries. Co-production with HBO.
The Third Day Psychological thriller 2020 6 episodes Miniseries. Co-production with HBO.
Landscapers True crime comedy drama 2021 4 episodes Miniseries. Co-production with HBO.
The Baby Horror comedy 2022 8 episodes Miniseries. Co-production with HBO.

Acquired US programming

Sky Atlantic relies heavily on screenings of US television programmes, with 50% of all programming coming from HBO.[18] Although the channel mainly screens dramas, blocks in the channel's schedule are dedicated to comedies and movies.[19][20] The launch of Sky Atlantic followed the broadcaster's £150m,[21] 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.[22]

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. This ended at the end of 2021.

HBO programming

Showtime 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.[23] 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.[24]

Rank Programme Episode Number
of viewers
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
87.01 – Dragonstone3,487,00017 July 2017
9 7.05 – Eastwatch 3,420,000 14 August 2017
107.03 – The Queen's Justice3,263,00031 July 2017


  1. "How can I watch Sky Atlantic? | Virgin, NOW TV, TalkTalk & BT -". Cable.
  2. "Sky Atlantic: The Home of World Class Television". British Sky Broadcasting. 23 December 2010.
  3. "Sky Atlantic HD is new home of HBO & Mad Men". British Sky Broadcasting. 1 October 2010. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  4. "Sky Atlantic to launch today". RTÉ News. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  5. "Sky to launch Sky Atlantic channel". Digital Spy. 1 October 2010.
  6. Sweney, Mark (5 May 2011). "BSkyB promotes Elaine Pyke to Sky Atlantic director". The Guardian. London.
  7. "Rivals miss out as Sky launches Atlantic channel". The Independent. London. 6 January 2011.
  8. "Virgin Media to miss out on Sky Atlantic". Digital Spy. 4 February 2011.
  9. "Sky confirms strengthened entertainment line-up". British Sky Broadcasting. 25 October 2010. Archived from the original on 30 October 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  10. "Sky Atlantic to launch next month". Digital Spy. 5 January 2011.
  11. "Sky Atlantic +1 launching, September 20th". imediamonkey. 4 September 2012. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014.
  12. Akinwumi, Stella (30 November 2022). "Gangs of London renewed for season 3 and fans are already buzzing". Metro. Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  13. Hailu, Selome (3 February 2022). "Epix Announces Billy the Kid Premiere Date, Releases Development Slate". Variety. Penske Media Corporation.
  14. Agyare, Kwabena (17 January 2023). "Trailer revealed for Sky Original drama Django". Sky Group. Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  15. Combe, Annabel (28 June 2022). "Sky announces The Lovers, a new Sky Original drama starring Johnny Flynn and Roisin Gallagher". Sky Group. Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  16. Wiseman, Andreas (17 October 2022). "Julianne Moore To Lead Sky & AMC Period Drama 'Mary & George' About Mary Villiers, Son George & Royal Court Intrigue In Jacobean England — Mipcom Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  17. "What to watch on Sky and NOW in 2022".
  18. Baker, Matt (31 January 2011). "BSkyB bets on Sky Atlantic to boost subscriber numbers". The Guardian. London.
  19. "Welcome to Sky Atlantic HD" (PDF). Sky Media. 16 November 2010.
  20. "Programme Information Highlights; February Sky Atlantic" (PDF). Sky Programme Information. 21 December 2010.
  21. Sweney, Mark (1 October 2010). "BSkyB to launch Sky Atlantic". London:
  22. "Sky agrees output deal to become the UK home of HBO". British Sky Broadcasting. 29 July 2010. Archived from the original on 1 August 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  23. "Four-screen dashboard | BARB". Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  24. "Game of Thrones most popular Sky series ever with 5m viewers". The Guardian. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
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