Sky Vision, the international distribution and production arm of Sky, and Sky Arts have today announced the launch of The Arts Buyers Club to support the creation and exploitation of arts programming and events. This new not-for-profit initiative brings together arts programming buyers, commissioners, producers and distributors from around the world to encourage creative and commercial collaboration across the sector.

At the heart of the initiative is a networking platform, called Slack. This simple-to-use App will facilitate ideas exchange with the aim of encouraging everyone engaged in arts programming to share ideas and explore creative and commercial opportunities worldwide. Slack offers a combination of public channels for open communication between parties and private channels to allow treatments and pitches to be shared, as well as confidential commercial negotiation. Subscription to the Arts Buyers Club on Slack is on an invitation basis, and is free of charge.

In addition to the App, Sky Vision and official media partner C21 Media, will organise Arts Buyers Club networking events at markets and festivals; to include screenings and panels.

Jane Millichip, Managing Director, Sky Vision commented: “Some of the most innovative and ground-breaking programming is found in arts schedules. Despite challenging budgets, the ambition and pursuit of quality remains high. However, there can often be a real struggle for finance and distribution which the Arts Buyers Club will help to resolve. Its success will depend on the engagement of arts programming executives, and we are really excited about the early expressions of interest we have already received from clients, colleagues and fellow producers and distributors in the sector.”

Philip Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, added: “This is a great initiative for all broadcasters worldwide. Some brilliant Arts programmes are being made across the globe and, as we are discovering through our co-operation on productions across the UK, Italy and Germany, if we can come together on projects we can make Arts TV on a much bigger scale. We fundamentally believe Arts TV should be great entertainment laced with a sense of event and shot through with expertise – I am tremendously excited about the potential of the Arts Buyers Club to launch new opportunities for us all.”

Supporting the Arts Buyers Club is part of Sky’s commitment to the arts across Europe, which includes the production of top-quality arts programming for dedicated arts channels in each of its territories. This is supported by the Sky Arts Production Hub, a commissioning and production centre of excellence based in Milan. The Hub produces a wide slate of outstanding arts programming for customers across all Sky territories in addition to content commissioned locally.

The official launch of the Arts Buyers Club will take place at MipTV on the Sky Vision stand (R7.C39) from 5.30-7.00pm on Tuesday April 5.