Sky Creates New Fund for Sports Content


Sky has set up a new production fund intended to discover new talent and ideas in sports content.

Sky Sports’ New Focus Fund will be open to indie production companies and content creators and will support a range of mediums, including TV, social media and podcasts. A panel of experts, including presenter Naomi Schiff and ex-Dragon’s Den judge Piers Linney, will assess the submissions against criteria designed to identify the best inclusive sports content. Successful applicants will be invited to participate in a 12-week development and skills exchange progra to hone the projects before being commissioned for production and premiered across relevant Sky Sports channels. Applications close on July 28.

Stephen van Rooyen, CEO of Sky U.K. and Ireland and chief commercial officer at Sky Group, said: “Unlocking opportunities for new creative voices is critical to ensuring that we’re offering innovative content that authentically represents our audiences. We recognize the unique position Sky holds in amplifying these voices and empowering talent both in front of and behind the camera, which is why we’re launching the New Focus Fund today.”

Schiff, Formula One presenter at Sky Sports, added: “It’s great to see that Sky Sports has created a pathway for new voices on its channels. There remain barriers for underrepresented talent to enter roles within the sports industry, but whatever the role or profession, everyone should have an equal opportunity to reach their potential. This fund is one way that we can help open doors for more people, and I can’t wait to hear and see how these creators bring their stories to life.”

Linney, a member of the Sky Diversity Advisory Council, commented: “Opportunities to challenge the status quo and drive equitable chances is exactly why I joined Sky’s Diversity Advisory Council. I’m excited to bring my experience as an entrepreneur and from working in media and communications to this initiative, helping to champion a platform for those who are too often under-represented by the industry.”