Fuelling passions

Giving customers a better choice of TV is key to the growth of our business. We know people will only choose Sky if we provide something they value. So we give customers programmes they're really passionate about, whatever their interest.

Over the last year, we've continued to develop our traditional areas of strength in sport, movies and news. To build on this solid foundation, we're also strengthening our entertainment proposition by investing in more original British programmes, together with the best content from around the world.

This is good news for our customers because it means an ever greater choice of high-quality programmes. And it's good news for the creative economy too. We now spend £380 million a year on the origination and production of British content, excluding our investment in sports rights. And we expect that figure to increase by more than 50% to £600 million a year by 2014.

Entertainment

We've always provided a wide range of high-quality entertainment. But our customers tell us they want even more choice. So we're taking our investment to an entirely different scale, allowing us to bring them more of the best drama, comedy and arts.

Home-grown content resonates strongly with our customers, so we're making a significant push to create more original British entertainment. In the last year, Sky 1 HD has continued to bring viewers new British drama including our adaptation of Martina Cole's The Runaway and Thorne, a new crime thriller starring David Morrissey. Another drama highlight was the psychological thriller, Mad Dogs, which featured an outstanding cast including John Simm and Philip Glenister and was one of four UK-produced Sky entertainment programmes to be nominated for a BAFTA Television Award.

Alongside original drama, we've begun a major commitment to original British comedy. Our first new British comedy, Little Crackers, aired last Christmas and featured some of the UK's best-loved comedy performers, including Catherine Tate, Dawn French and Stephen Fry. There will be more original comedy to follow over the next year as several new productions reach the screen. Other Sky 1 HD highlights have included a new series of the popular panel show, A League of Their Own, and the premiere of An Idiot Abroad starring Karl Pilkington, which achieved some of the channel's best ever audiences.

We have maintained our commitment to offer the best US programmes. Our new channel, Sky Atlantic HD, launched in February and is the new UK home of HBO, which is renowned as the creator of some of the best television ever made. Sky Atlantic HD has offered outstanding new shows like Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, as well as classics like The Sopranos and The Wire, and is already rated by nearly a quarter of customers as one of their top channels. We have also added further breadth to our entertainment portfolio by acquiring and relaunching Sky Living HD, offering a strong appeal to female audiences with shows such as Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model.

In addition to investment in our wholly-owned channels, we continue to support the channel partners which make a valued contribution to our content offering. By investing more than £350 million a year with broadcasters such as Discovery, History, National Geographic and UKTV, we are able to bring customers breadth and depth of choice that they can't find on free-to-air TV.

Little Crackers, Sky 1 HD

Little Crackers, Sky 1 HD

An Idiot Abroad, Sky 1 HD

An Idiot Abroad, Sky 1 HD

Britain & Ireland's Next Top Model, Sky Living HD

Britain & Ireland's Next Top Model, Sky Living HD

Birth of Britain, Nat Geo HD

Birth of Britain, Nat Geo HD

Arts

We want to provide everyone with content they love. Millions of people love the arts, but arts programmes on television were traditionally few and far between and often shown only at the dead of night. That was until Sky Arts came along. Now broadcasting 48 hours of arts coverage every day, our four arts channels remain the only place on TV to enjoy the whole range of arts and culture, from ballet to rock concerts. Our unique coverage is now enjoyed by over 2.4 million customers every month.

This year, we've increased the depth and breadth of our arts and culture programming. The Book Show has gone on the road to five literary festivals, including the Hay Festival. We've worked with Melvyn Bragg to give the South Bank Awards a new home after leaving ITV. We've beamed live music into millions of homes, including the first ever 3D music festival from the Isle of Wight. Sky Arts At... went backstage to show viewers what it's really like behind the scenes at a range of arts organisations. Art of Survival is challenging four artistic adventurers to perform their way across Europe. And not content with bringing live theatre back to British television last year, we've now broadcast the world's first ever live 3D opera from ENO.

The next step is to build on this success. And thanks to a planned tripling of the Sky Arts budget, we'll be able to offer our customers an even better range of arts and culture in the years to come.

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2011

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2011

Songbook: KT Tunstall, Sky Arts HD

Songbook: KT Tunstall, Sky Arts HD

The Book Show, Sky Arts HD

The Book Show, Sky Arts HD

Movies

Sky Movies aims to be the only movies service that you'll ever need. From Hollywood blockbusters and cult classics to independent films, we pride ourselves on the breadth of choice that our 12 dedicated movie channels offer, all in HD. Sky Movies offers customers over 450 different movies a week including brand new premieres every Friday. Over the past year, over 90% of the top 100 box office hits were shown on Sky Movies before any other TV channel.

As well as showing the widest range of the newest films, we've continued to offer great insider movie coverage. We showed extensive live coverage from the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. And we've been there, with the stars on the red carpet, at the biggest premieres.

Building on the success of our online movies service, the launch of Sky Anytime+ brought on-demand to the main TV set, opening up a whole new way for our customers to watch hundreds of films at the touch of a button at no additional cost. And, as an extra reward, we give away thousands of cinema tickets every week to Sky Movies customers.

Sky Movies has also taken its first significant step into original production by commissioning Neverland, a new prequel to the Peter Pan story. With an outstanding cast including Rhys Ifans, Keira Knightley and Bob Hoskins, this mini-series will premiere later this year exclusively on Sky Movies.

Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Sky Movies HD

Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Sky Movies HD

The Oscars® 2011, Sky Movies Premiere HD

The Oscars® 2011, Sky Movies Premiere HD

Avatar, Sky Movies HD

Avatar, Sky Movies HD

News

The last 12 months have seen some of the biggest news stories of recent times and Sky News has been at the forefront of them. Internationally, we have seen revolution across the Middle East, a tsunami in Japan and the death of Osama Bin Laden. At home there have been major events in the shape of the Pope's visit to the UK, demonstrations over tuition fees and a Royal Wedding. Sky News delivered memorable coverage for all of them and was once again named the Royal Television Society (RTS) News Channel of the Year – for a record eighth time. Judges commented that it was a "vintage year for Sky News which exhibited outstanding range and depth".

In addition, Sky News' Special Correspondent, Alex Crawford, won the RTS Television Journalist of the Year accolade for an unprecedented third time and its coverage of the student riots won the award in the Home News category. Two awards for Sky's international coverage followed in June at the Monte Carlo Golden Nymph Awards – both for the outstanding reporting of events during the Arab Spring.

The ground-breaking Sky News for iPad was also launched this year. The app, supported by a dedicated editorial team, allows users to control their own interactive news service with live video, expert analysis and rich graphics.

Sky News' Special Correspondent, Alex Crawford

Sky News' Special Correspondent, Alex Crawford

Live coverage of the Royal Wedding

Live coverage of the Royal Wedding

Anna Botting presenting live from Japan

Anna Botting presenting live from Japan

Sport

Sky Sports marked its 20th anniversary this year by providing depth, breadth and quality of coverage to satisfy the most passionate sports fans. With more than 1,000 outside broadcasts a year, we now offer 20 times the amount of live sport shown on terrestrial TV 20 years ago. Among the many endorsements of Sky Sports' broad contribution over two decades, former BBC1 controller Sir Paul Fox reflected: "Sky has changed the history of sport and of sports broadcasting".

Highlights of the year on Sky Sports included Rory McIlroy's triumph in the US Open golf and Europe's unforgettable victory in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, which also marked the launch of our 3D channel to residential customers. We also offered our first live coverage of The Masters from Augusta, with all four days shown live in HD and for the first time in 3D. In our biggest ever season of football, an exciting finish to the Barclays Premier League helped to draw our best audiences for more than 10 years, while Sky Sports was chosen as host broadcaster for the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley. In Rugby Union, we showed a live match every week of the year, including a classic Heineken Cup Final that attracted our highest ever audience for a domestic club match. England's victory in the Ashes series in Australia was part of a packed 49-week calendar of cricket, also including every match played in the ICC World Cup. And Sky Sports continued to provide valuable exposure to sports like netball, speedway and women's cricket.

All of our five sports channels can now be enjoyed in high definition following the launch of Sky Sports News HD, which coincided with a move to all-new studios in the Sky Studios complex. While our investments have a big impact on screen, they make just as much difference off screen, providing vital funding and support for sport at all levels. And our programmes – supporting young people in schools, encouraging more people to cycle regularly and training more cricket coaches – are all playing their part in helping to improve lives through the power of sport.

Women's Twenty20 cricket, Sky Sports HD

Women's Twenty20 cricket, Sky Sports HD

Heineken Cup Final 2011, Sky Sports HD

Heineken Cup Final 2011, Sky Sports HD

Rory McIlroy, US Open 2011, Sky Sports HD

Rory McIlroy, US Open 2011, Sky Sports HD

Game of Thrones, Sky Atlantic HD

Game of Thrones, Sky Atlantic HD