Thursday, 14 April 2011

Will Sky poach 'Glee' from E4?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Glee's become a huge hit for digital channel E4 (regularly attracting upwards of 1.2m viewers), and a jealous Sky have clearly been taking notice. In a situation that'll sound very familiar to fans of 24, Lost, House and Mad Men, Sky are allegedly poised to offer a "knockout" bid to bring Glee to their lineup.

Will Channel 4 have the money and inclination to fight Sky to keep the UK rights, or will Rupert Murdoch's pockets once again prove too deep? And while a move to Sky may not sound too damaging for British viewers (as both are on the digital platform), it's worth remembering that Glee gets weekend terrestrial repeats on Channel 4 after E4's premieres. So there will be a chunk of Glee's UK fanbase that will be waving goodbye to the singing-n'-dancing sensation if Sky's plans are successful.

What are your feelings on this, if it happens? Does it matter if Glee moves from E4 to, say, Sky1? Is it just annoying that Sky outbid their rivals for shows they never had the foresight to buy initially, or turned into a British marketing success?

I never begrudged Sky buying The Simpsons in the early-'90s and turning it into a big hit (indeed, it was once a prime reason to get Sky), but it's irksome when they poach hit shows that have been nurtured elsewhere. And, while shows like 24 and Lost didn't fade into obscurity when they moved to Sky (from BBC2 and Channel 4, respectively), they definitely became more niche. Lost used to get around 4m viewers on Channel 4, but Sky were happy with anything over 1m.