Magazine article Variety

For Sky Italia, All Shows Are Not Equal

Magazine article Variety

For Sky Italia, All Shows Are Not Equal

Article excerpt

Rupert Murdoch's Sky Italia paybox is fixing up its Italo-scripted biz with a dual-content pipeline - one for series like the $22 million mobthemed "Gomorrah," which is geared to a global audience; the other for spunky local romantic comedies like "Amore Oggi" (Love Today), shot by two YouTube-bred helmers for $500,000.

"Gomorrah," based on the same bestselling book as Matteo Garrone's likenamed film, has been sold by Beta Film to more than 30 countries, including the U.S., where a deal is being finalized to make it the first Italo skein ever beamed into U.S. homes by an Italian channel.

"Amore," on the other hand, was shot in Brazil, Paris and Italy using a digital SLR camera.

"Gomorrah" will air on Sky Italia's new Sky Atlantic channel, dedicated to premium-quality series from around the world. The channel launches April 9 with Netflix original "House of Cards."

"The challenge with 'Gomorrah' was to prove that we had the capabilities and the creative talent to do something for the international market," says Andrea Scrosati, programming topper for Sky Italia, which with 4.8 million subscribers is Italy's top pay TV service. "But obviously the issue there is that even though we are recouping a lot through our international rights, it's still a pretty big investment."

Sky Italia's 2013 budget for all local productions was $221 million (Sky Italia doesn't reveal current financials).

Still, there are more big-budget projects in the works. …

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