Sky Atlantic

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 and Ireland
Language English
Broadcast area United Kingdom and Ireland
Sister channel(s) Challenge,
Real Lives,
Sky 1,
Sky 2,
Sky Arts,
Sky Cinema,
Sky Cinema Box Office,
Sky Living,
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 owned and operated by Sky plc. It broadcasts in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Separate channels with the same name also operate in Germany, Italy and Austria. This article is about the version of the channel produced in the UK.

It launched on 1 February 2011 on Sky in the United Kingdom and the Republic of 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 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.


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.

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 27 June 2016.[17] The number of viewers does not include repeats or Irish ratings.

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 – Oathbreaker 2,470,000 9 May 2016
3 6.04 – Book of the Stranger 2,414,000 16 May 2016
4 6.07 – The Broken Man 2,389,000 6 June 2016
5 6.06 – Blood of My Blood 2,385,000 30 May 2016
6 6.05 – The Door 2,326,000 23 May 2016
7 6.01 – The Red Woman 2,289,000 25 April 2016
8 6.02 – Home 2,277,000 2 May 2016
9 5.10 – Mother's Mercy 2,269,000 15 June 2015
10 6.10 – The Winds of Winter 2,257,000 27 June 2016


  1. 1 2 "Sky Atlantic: The Home of World Class Television". British Sky Broadcasting. 23 December 2010.
  2. "Sky Atlantic UK". British Sky Broadcasting. YouTube. 23 December 2010.
  3. 1 2 "Sky Atlantic HD is new home of HBO & Mad Men". British Sky Broadcasting. 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". London: The Guardian.
  7. "Rivals miss out as Sky launches Atlantic channel". London: The Independent. 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. 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.
  12. Baker, Matt (31 January 2011). "BSkyB bets on Sky Atlantic to boost subscriber numbers". London: The Guardian.
  13. "Welcome to Sky Atlantic HD" (PDF). Sky Media. 16 November 2010.
  14. "Programme Information Highlights; February Sky Atlantic" (PDF). Sky Programme Information. 21 December 2010.
  15. Sweney, Mark (1 October 2010). "BSkyB to launch Sky Atlantic". London:
  16. "Sky agrees output deal to become the UK home of HBO". British Sky Broadcasting. 29 July 2010.
  17. BARB, via

External links

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