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Reach for the Sky

Veering from the highbrow to the low-rent, Sky Arts is an odd channel—but, argues Peter Bazalgette, it is beginning to challenge BBC 2 and Channel 4’s cultural programming

By Peter Bazalgette   October 2011

That other seventies show: the edgy HBO-style series Romanzo Criminale tells the story of Rome’s criminal gangs in the 1970s

During 2011’s febrile summer of phone hacking, something went almost unnoticed. As the Guardian and the BBC fought News Corp’s proposed takeover of BSkyB, what the company itself was doing excited little comment. BSkyB’s chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, announced that their annual spend on original television content was to almost double, from £380m to £600m. This is in addition to the billions they already spend on sports and movies. It means they’ll shortly be outspending the public service broadcaster, Channel…

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