Sky Atlantic

Sky Atlantic
Launched 1 February 2011
Owned by Sky plc
Picture format 576i (16:9/4:3) (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.19%
0.02% (+1) (March 2018 (2018-03), 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 One,
Sky Two,
Sky Arts,
Sky Cinema,
Sky News,
Sky Sports,
Sky Sports Box Office,
Sky Sports F1,
Sky Sports News,
Sky Witness
Timeshift service Sky Atlantic +1
Sky Channel 108 (SD/HD)
Channel 208 (+1)
Channel 808 (SD)
On Demand
Streaming media
Sky Go Watch live (UK and Ireland only)
Now TV Watch live (UK and Ireland only)

Sky Atlantic is a television channel 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. This article is about the channel available in the UK and Republic of Ireland.


Sky Atlantic 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 One, Sky Two, 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 Sky 3.[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 808.[10]

Sky Atlantic +1

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. It moved to channel 217 on 18 July 2017 as part of the Sky Sports reshuffle which included Sky Sports Mix moving to entertainment, and again to 208 on 1 May 2018 as part of Sky's major EPG reshuffle due to Sky Atlantic being channel 108.


Sky Atlantic relies heavily on screenings of US television programmes, with 50% 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.

First run premium US drama

Original Programming

Most watched programme

The following is a list of the ten most watched programmes on Sky Atlantic (all of them being episodes of Game of Thrones), based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 28 August 2017.[17] The number of viewers does not include repeats or Irish ratings. Additionally, all of these episodes were the most viewed programme of the week on non-terrestrial television in the UK, with the exception of "Book of the Stranger" which was overtaken by an episode of The Big Bang Theory.

Rank Programme Episode Number of Viewers Date
1 Game of Thrones 7.07 – The Dragon and the Wolf 3,535,000 28 August 2017
17.01 – Dragonstone3,487,00017 July 2017
2 7.05 – Eastwatch 3,420,000 14 August 2017
37.03 – The Queen's Justice3,263,00031 July 2017
4 7.06 – Beyond the Wall 3,176,000 21 August 2017
5 7.04 – The Spoils of War 3,015,000 7 August 2017
67.02 – Stormborn2,770,00024 July 2017
75.01 – The Wars to Come2,633,00013 April 2015
86.03 – Oathbreaker2,470,0009 May 2016
96.04 – Book of the Stranger2,414,00016 May 2016
106.07 – The Broken Man2,389,0006 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. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014.
  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. "Weekly top 10 programmes | BARB". Retrieved 25 July 2017.
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