Sky Sports News will become the first channel to transmit from Sky’s new £233m broadcast and production facility next week, as the broadcaster begins consolidating staff currently based in separate buildings around its Osterley campus.
When Sky Studios - formerly known as Harlequin 1 - is at full capacity in six months’ time, 1,300 of Sky’s production and playout staff will be based there, allowing Sky to decommission four buildings on the Osterley campus.
Further consolidation is likely over the next few years as Sky has also taken ownership of the neighbouring Harrods distribution building.
Harlequin 1 will house eight HD studios - one of which will be used solely for Sky Sports News. T
The biggest studio will be twice the size of its current largest studio and will allow the broadcaster to shoot light entertainment shows with audiences of up to 300 in-house.
Last month, Broadcast reported concerns raised by London post houses that the broadcaster was taking an increasing amount of post production work in-house.
John Lennon, head of broadcast strategy, said opening the facilities to third parties was “not something we do”, and acknowledged there has been a “big change in the past couple of years”, with Sky looking to use its internal studios and post facilities for commissioned programmes that might previously have gone to external facilities.
But, he added: “There is significant spend planned for content and we can take only a percentage inhouse, so there’s still huge opportunity for the rest of the industry.”