I’m Stuart Murphy, Director Sky Entertainment Channels
I'm guessing there are probably one of three reasons you are on this site:
A) You have a meeting with one of us soon
B) You have a development meeting with your boss, and know nothing about Sky Entertainment
C) You are bored and trying to get inspiration.
Whatever the reason, hopefully this page will help. I want Sky to feel more personal and open than
other broadcasters, so I’ve written this intro myself. Lousy syntax, all my work.
We've tried to be clear on this site about what we want, tried to avoid pointless phrases about
wanting "the next big thing", and tried to be very clear about what we don't want.
First thing is the same people in the commissioning teams commission shows across all Sky
Entertainment channels, and those channels are:
- Sky 1HD (run by me)
- Sky Living HD (run by Antonia Hurford-Jones)
- Sky Atlantic HD (run by Elaine Pyke)
- Sky Arts HD 1 and 2 (run by James Hunt)
- Sky 3D (run by John Cassy)
- Challenge (run by Stephen Ladlow)
We also run Sky 2, Pick TV, Sky Living Loves and Sky Living It but don’t commission shows for these
channels. So the Head of Entertainment, for instance, commissions shows for Sky 1HD, Sky Living HD
etc. We don’t run Sky Sports or Sky News. That’s Barney Francis and John Ryley respectively.
Second thing is our commissioning structure is really simple. There are 5 Heads, each with their own
teams. Those heads are:
- Head of Entertainment (Phil Edgar-Jones)
- Head of Comedy (Lucy Lumsden)
- Head of Drama (Anne Mensah)
- Head of Factual and Features (Celia Taylor)
- Head of Factual Entertainment (Michele Kurland)
And I run that commissioning team. If this isn’t simple enough, we have an organogram, if you like
that type of thing. Just ask Alice.Bartley@bskyb.com
To get an idea commissioned, you register on this website. If you don’t know which genre your idea
falls under, then please contact Alice.Bartley@bskyb.com
Third thing is we only commission shows in HD (something we can help you with if you've never done it
before). There’s a team set up to interface between Sky and indies, on everything from budgets to
production schedules and filming requirements, called Production, and this is run by James Hunt.
Again, the people in his team are on another organogram. To get hold of this please contact
A basic thing to know about Sky is that the majority of our revenue comes from subscription not
advertising, which means we don’t need people to watch every minute of every day - but what we do
need shows that prompt people to subscribe and keep them with us once they’ve subscribed. So noisy
shows that we can promote heavily that people will obsess about. As a given, these need to adhere to
our brand values of Incredible Quality, being Effortlessly Innovative, having warm and friendly
Family Values, being Best In Class, Optimistic and Authentic. We need our experts and people on
screen to know what they are on about.
I think we’re pretty straightforward to deal with. We’re quick, good fun, work hard and hopefully
provide the best creative conversations in the industry. We also give a quick "no", and don’t put
shows into development as a way of getting out of rejecting something. The upside of that is that
when we put something into development, it means we are serious about it.
I've worked hard to assemble and keep a commissioning team which is very experienced, which works
nimbly, passionately and creatively, and is just really nice to deal with. I think they are just top
dollar, as they say in some places. But we're bound to get things wrong from time to time so please
tell us when we do, and I'll make sure we'll try our best to improve how we work so that it's
enjoyable for everyone. Thanks a lot, and see you soon.
Please come back to this site. We’ve had quite a few new people start recently, so we will endeavour
to keep updating this as their plans are formulated. Next year our investment in original commissions
shoots up, so it’s going to be very busy and we need your help to make it even more successful.
I hope this site has been helpful. It’s hard trying to do a mix of information giving, inspiring and
genuinely clear steers, so if we haven’t got it exactly right, apologies, and let us know so we can
sharpen it up.