Sky Atlantic

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Sky Atlantic
Launched 1 February 2011
Owned by Sky plc
Picture format 576i (16:9/4:3) (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.21%
0.02% (+1) (September 2015 (2015-09), BARB)
Slogan The Home of World Class Television[1]/The Home of HBO[2]/Let The Stories Begin
Country United Kingdom, Ireland
Language English
Broadcast area United Kingdom, Ireland
Sister channel(s) Challenge,
Real Lives,
Sky 1,
Sky 2,
Sky Arts,
Sky Living,
Sky Movies,
Sky Movies Box Office,
Sky News,
Sky Sports,
Sky Sports F1,
Sky Sports News HQ
Timeshift service Sky Atlantic +1
Sky Channel 108 (SD/HD)
Channel 170 (+1)
Channel 222 (SD)
On Demand
Streaming media
Sky Go Watch live (UK and Ireland only)
Now TV Watch live (UK only)

Sky Atlantic is a television channel brand owned and operated by Sky plc. It broadcasts in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Separate channels with the same name also operate in Germany, Italy and Austria.

It launched on 1 February 2011 on Sky in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[1][3][4]

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 1, Sky 2, 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. 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 Sky3.[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 222.[10]

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 consisted of Sky 3D closing (only an On Demand channel), Sky Livingit renaming to Real Lives, and Sky Arts 1 and 2 merging to form a single channel.


Sky Atlantic relies heavily on screenings of US television programmes, with 40% of all programming coming from HBO.[12] Although the channel mainly screens dramas, there are blocks in the schedule dedicated to comedies and movies [13][14] The launch of Sky Atlantic followed the broadcaster's £150m,[15] 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.[16]

In January 2016, Sky expanded the portfolio shown on Atlantic after purchasing exclusive rights to Showtime programming.

US shows




Most watched programmes

The following is a list of the ten most watched programmes on Sky Atlantic, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 16 May 2016.[17] The number of viewers does not include repeats.

Rank Programme Episode Number of Viewers Date
1 Game of Thrones 5.01 – The Wars to Come 2,633,000 13 April 2015
2 6.03 - The Oathbreaker 2,470,000 9 May 2016
3 6.04 - Book of the Stranger 2,414,000 16 May 2016
4 6.01 - The Red Woman 2,289,000 25 April 2016
5 5.10 – Mother's Mercy 2,269,000 15 June 2015
6 5.09 – The Dance of Dragons 2,175,000 8 June 2015
7 5.08 – Hardhome 2,027,000 1 June 2015
8 5.06 – Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken 2,019,000 18 May 2015
9 5.05 – Kill the Boy 2,002,000 11 May 2015
10 5.03 – High Sparrow 1,976,000 27 April 2015


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Sky Atlantic: The Home of World Class Television". British Sky Broadcasting. 23 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Sky Atlantic UK". British Sky Broadcasting. YouTube. 23 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Sky Atlantic HD is new home of HBO & Mad Men". British Sky Broadcasting. 1 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Sky Atlantic to launch today". RTÉ News. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Sky to launch Sky Atlantic channel". Digital Spy. 1 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Sweney, Mark (5 May 2011). "BSkyB promotes Elaine Pyke to Sky Atlantic director". London: The Guardian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Rivals miss out as Sky launches Atlantic channel". London: The Independent. 6 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Virgin Media to miss out on Sky Atlantic". Digital Spy. 4 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Sky confirms strengthened entertainment line-up". British Sky Broadcasting. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Sky Atlantic to launch next month". Digital Spy. 5 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Sky Atlantic +1 launching, September 20th". imediamonkey. 4 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Baker, Matt (31 January 2011). "BSkyB bets on Sky Atlantic to boost subscriber numbers". London: The Guardian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Welcome to Sky Atlantic HD" (PDF). Sky Media. 16 November 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Programme Information Highlights; February Sky Atlantic" (PDF). Sky Programme Information. 21 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Sweney, Mark (1 October 2010). "BSkyB to launch Sky Atlantic". London:<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Sky agrees output deal to become the UK home of HBO". British Sky Broadcasting. 29 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. BARB, via

External links