A few weeks ago, a team of 10 intrepid explorers from the Supply Team completed the National 3 Peaks Challenge in brilliant Sky style.
"For those that are not aware, the 3 Peaks Challenge is a serious physical and mental challenge that takes place on the 3 highest mountains in the UK. It totals nearly 3,500 metres in height and over 20 miles of walking; including over 500 miles of driving between the three mountains, all needing to be completed within 24 hours.
It goes without saying that the whole group were aware of the challenge that lay ahead, but nothing really prepares you for the lack of sleep and physical impact on your body that you experience over the 24 hour period. The National 3 Peaks Challenge is popular amongst groups wanting to raise money for a good cause, and we were no different. We weren’t doing this for fun; we were doing this to raise money for Mind UK.
1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year in the UK. Mind works to support people who suffer and those who care for them, and campaigns to promote their rights and equal treatment in society. Our short period of pain was our way of supporting this great cause and through amazingly generous donations we raised nearly £9,000!
It was a great team effort to make sure that everything was organised. We were completely self-sufficient with our own minibus and dedicated drivers to get the walkers to each mountain on time. Everyone came together and unlike the predictions, there were no arguments on the mountainside, just smiles and determination to succeed. We were tested on Ben Nevis as the cloud and rain engulfed us, but from then on we were welcomed by high cloud and sunshine at Scafell Pike and Snowdon. It made the walking far more enjoyable and presented outstanding views from the peaks!"
The whole team agreed, “This was a gruelling and tough challenge. I’m really proud and pleased with the how the team pulled together to organise it and complete it and for such a great cause.”
The team that completed the challenge, unscathed and all in good health!
Working as One Team made the difference as one member of the team highlights, “When I signed up to take part in the Supply 3 Peaks challenge I didn’t really appreciate what I was signing up to! It was certainly one of the toughest challenges I have ever taken part in, however what impressed me most was the support and encouragement you get from all the members of the team. It certainly reflected Sky’s value of ‘One Team’”.
In early 1984 a telegram arrived in the post letting David know he’d got a job as a Transmission Controller for what was then called ‘The Sky Channel’. And the rest, as they say, is history.
This telegram marked the start of a 30 year career with Sky, that not even retirement can keep him from.
At the time, the operation was run from a single facility in Wardour Street, central London. Since then Sky’s operational facilities have moved location twice. David is now based in the Broadcast Centre in Sky Studios at Osterley.
Over David’s career he has been at the core of Sky’s growth. “When I applied for the job it sounded terribly exciting. At first the team was so small and the CEO would even make tea for me. Now, given our size, I think my chances of that are pretty low”.
“Even then our team worked 24 hours a day. And while we worked, the business was literally built around us.”
At the forefront of the rapid change in Broadcast Technology, David has seen it all.
He said “Back in the day when it all started in Broadcasting we had no playlists and the content was all run manually. Stopwatches and calculations on paper were used to keep the channels running on time.”
The evolution in technology and change from analogue to digital and SD to HD, one channel to multichannel and manual to automated play out, means that we can manage many more channels per person within the dedicated Playout Team.
The team bring together the component parts of each TV channel. That’s the pictures, audio, subtitles, logos, live programmes, movies and commercial breaks to create the final content that is delivered to our customers.
This can be affected by things like over runs of live content, delays and even the dropping of programmes. Sky Playout’s job is to respond and manage seamlessly the flow of content, so that the viewer experience is unaffected.
Even though David now works part time, he continues to work across all channels, live events and complex operations, training others and passing on a wealth of broadcast experience.
David concluded “I plan to keep working, and hope to stay here until I’m 100!”
As part of the music team, Music Creative are devoted to getting the best music used across what you see on screen - especially when that involves introducing new music to our audiences. But have you ever wondered how it all works?
Take a moment to think of a few of your favourite adverts, TV shows or movie scenes. As well as the brilliant visuals, most of us will also recall the great piece of music that was used to accompany them. That's when the Music Creative team come in. We spoke with Shiv Kalaria, Senior Music Creative to find out what goes on behind the scenes.
"The right track can transform something average into something memorable! One of my jobs here is helping to create these memorable moments across the content we make. Our team listen to hours of music on a daily basis, sifting through every conceivable genre (Scandinavian Symphonic Metal anyone?) to assist the 500+ producers across the company with their various musical needs.
A typical day might consist of trying to find a moody blues-rock track with the right lyrical reference for a Ray Donovan promo, followed by sourcing an obscure Spanish classical piece for a La Liga football match, to hunting down a copy of the Albanian national anthem for Sky News! You never know what you’re going to get next. In between searches we’ll go through all the new releases sent to us every day (which can be into the hundreds) trying to pick out the next big thing or any stand out tracks. It’s always an incredible feeling when a track you suggest is used on something and, in turn, helps break an artist to a much wider audience.
"What we do in Creative is inextricably linked to what the other sections in Music get up to. First, the Music Licensing team make sure the business doesn’t stray off the straight and narrow, and work hard to find solutions on any rights roadblocks. Music rights are complicated and it’s good to know there are experts on hand!
Then there’s the Music Reporting team who make sure that once the music has been used, all the relevant parties get paid. They’re usually the music companies’ favourite people for obvious reasons!
Lastly, our management team’s main work is to wrestle a lot of rights from the music industry to put into Sky’s so-called blanket music agreements – which give us instant access to nearly all of the music that is commercially available throughout the world. That’s just as well because, last time we looked, Sky was using more than 30 million minutes of music every year!
Content never stands still at Sky and as we continue to grow and our ambition gets bigger, we want the service we provide to continue to be the best in the industry."
With an exciting party to celebrate, we've just opened our brand new concept store at Westfield London
This store is just another way we're showing customers the best of Sky.
The focal point of the new store is the glass wall - its the largest free-standing video wall in any UK shopping centre! It's brought to life with an ever changing Sky spectrum made from LED lights that move through the glass.
The store is 100% digital and is an interactive entertainment experience for our customers. Two large video walls, comprising of nine digital screens on either side of the glass wall attract them to the store and customers can try our products and content through the touch screens, content highlights, 3D TVs and tablets throughout the store.
"We want to create opportunities for up to one million young people to build skills and experience." Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive, Sky
Rashee Kapoor has worked at Sky for six years, but initially thought she would only be here for six months on a contract…
Working somewhere with the freedom to develop ideas and creativity is just one of the reasons Rashee has stayed with Sky for over six years.
At the Broadcasting Press Guild awards we picked up a special innovation award for our 25 years in the television industry.
Managing Director of Sky Sports Barney Francis collected the award alongside some of our presenters such as Mike Atherton and Kay Burley.
The judges said: "To Sky, for 25 years of constant & continuing innovation that has transformed the UK television business (& beyond), including multi-channel satellite TV; subscription TV; the UK's first 24-hour news, sport & arts channels; high definition TV; the Sky+ box; 3D TV; live drama & innovative original commissioning; Sky Go, Sky on-demand, NOW TV & other new ways of connecting television & viewers."
Every spring, the Broadcasting Press Guild Television and Radio Awards take place to recognise outstanding programmes and performances from the last year.
Our retail sales colleagues tell us about what makes their jobs so special and what they love about selling Sky.
We’re one of the most recognised brands in the country. The quality and sheer breadth of our products and services mean we can appeal to pretty much everyone. But demonstrating exactly what Sky can do and how it can make a difference to people is a real talent.
Whether you’re showing customers the best of Sky in the comfort of their own homes, at one of our retail stores, out and about in a mobile events vehicle or in one of our partnership supermarkets, we’ll rely on you to give people an amazing experience and the information they need to make the right decision. We know it’s not a simple job, but with our great products and services, and brilliant employee benefits – including free Sky+HD, Talk and Broadband – we try to make it as easy and rewarding as possible.
Having worked at Sky for over 13 years, Ogden tells us about his role, how he has progressed in his career and how he has been rewarded for his work…
Working in Sky's TV Products area, Ogden is a key part of the team that delivers great products and services; in particular Sky Multiscreen.Sky Multiscreen offers the ultimate flexibility to watch the TV you love in and out of the home. Having worked at Sky for over 13 years, he's a true example of living the Sky values, including being awarded for 'Doing the Right Thing'.
Sky News has launched its Catch Up TV service. Now you can watch the news stories and features you're interested in, when you want, on your big screen.
As well as being able to access top stories, news features and analysis throughout the day, the news service will offer special programming such as Week in Review, a quick fire irreverent look back on the week’s news, chaired by Jayne Secker and featuring Sky News’ paper review favourites Andrew Pierce (Columnist and Consulting Editor – The Mail) and Kevin Maguire (Associate Editor – Daily Mirror).
The recently launched Friday night programme Entertainment Week hosted by Sky News’ Entertainment Correspondent, Lucy Cotter, will headline a Catch Up category dedicated to Showbiz. There will also be a special section focusing on the world of technology featuring the work of recently arrived Technology Correspondent, Tom Cheshire, as well as the weekly tech show, Swipe.
Additionally - and uniquely to the Sky News Catch Up TV service - customers can revisit memorable and world changing news events from the last 25 years by way of The Vault as well as specially commissioned news features and documentaries.
John Ryley, Head of Sky News, commented: “Sky News is committed to developing the ways in which customers can watch its content. Sky News on Catch Up TV offers Sky customers the chance to curate the news how they want it at a time when we are producing an increasing amount of high quality features”.
Luke Bradley-Jones, Brand Director, TV Products commented: “Sky News today joins the UK’s biggest Catch Up TV service – offering customers a great way to get their daily news and weather updates when it suits them. Customers simply connect their box to broadband and they’ll have access to Sky News shows when it suits them.”