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Sky announced a new $250m ‘production partnership’ with Game of Thrones maker HBO as the European broadcaster announced operating profits fell by 11 per cent in the nine months to the end of March.

Although revenues rose by 5 per cent on a constant currency basis to £9.64bn in the period, a £494m rise in the costs of screening live Premier League football caused profits to fall to £1.013bn, down from £1.142bn in the same period last year.

The new deal with HBO is a partnership to jointly commission and produce high quality drama series, the European broadcaster said, adding that the first programmes will air in 2018. Sky already has a rights deal to show HBO’s programmes on its Sky Atlantic channel until 2020.

Jeremy Darroch, the Sky chief executive, said: “Looking forward, we enter the final quarter of our fiscal year in good shape. Despite the broader consumer environment remaining uncertain, we continue to deliver on our strategy and are on track for the full year.”

Ed. An initial version of this story misstated operating profits.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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