The new centre will be used for the production of entertainment and sport programming for television, mobile and online. It will be built on the site of Sky's current broadcasting operations in Osterley, west London.
Sony Professional Services division, one of three companies on a final shortlist, will design the solution architecture and integrate the bulk of the technology systems in the new facility.
Sky director of technology platforms Troy Smith told Broadcast the company initially considered taking on the project itself.
“We could have done it internally but that would have required huge resources,” he explained. “Instead we will work side by side with Sony which will fill the gaps in our own -knowledge and skills base.”
Although Sony is the lead integrator, there is no guarantee the company's equipment will be used. “There may be Sony kit in the final design,” said Smith. “But we've done system integration deals with Sony before which have included no Sony product.”
The facility will cover almost 70,000sq m of floor space and include edit suites, quality control, playout and eight studios. It will feature a strong IT spine - including the ability to receive content via the internet - and will make 1080p 50 its main production format.
Construction work on the new building has started and it is anticipated that it will be fully operational by the middle of 2011.
The whole building, including construction work, will cost£233m to complete.