Sky has acquired Parthenon Media Group to distribute the international rights to its original commissions.

The move into distribution, which was reported by Broadcast to be under consideration earlier this month, will enable Sky to increase the revenues it generates from the sale of its shows overseas.

Parthenon’s chief executive officer Carl Hall [pictured] will lead Sky’s new distribution arm, reporting directly to Sky’s managing director of entertainment, news and broadcast Sophie Turner Laing.

The distributor, which reported a turnover of £11m and pre-tax profits of £2.1m for the 12 months to April 2011, has to date specialised in factual content, representing shows including The Toilet: An Unspoken History and Crime Town USA. Parthenon reported gross assets of £18.2m on 30 June.

Sky will now aim to convince indies it commissions to make use of its distribution business although they will not be forced into a tie-up to secure an order. 

Turner Laing said the acquisition was a “natural step” as Sky ramped up the level of its original commissions.

“We are producing world class television - innovative, creatively ambitious and, in many cases, on an epic scale,” she said.

“It’s only right that we match this with world class aspirations for how we take this content to as wide an international audience as possible.”

Hall added: “Over the past ten years, our success has been built upon our unique, boutique-style approach to all our content providers. The [distribution division] will also open new and exciting opportunities for international producers looking to benefit from the support of one of the UK’s largest investors in original content and a global leader in the provision of world-class television.”

This story was originally published by Broadcast.