Sky has announced that it is to launch a distribution arm to market the international rights to its original content and has acquired Parthenon Media Group, the independent international distribution and multimedia rights management company as part of the new arrangement.

Sky is increasing investment in original content and the hope is that this distribution plan will help control rights management for its own material.

According to the company, keeping rights management and distribution in-house will generate additional revenue from its material through sales overseas which it hopes to reinvest in the UK’s creative economy for its customers and content creators.

This year Sky invested more than £450m ($705m) in British commissioning and production. The company plans to increase this to £600m a year by 2014 with works in drama, entertainment and factual genres.

The current Parthenon team, led by founder and CEO, Carl Hall, will lead the change within Sky, reporting to Sophie Turner Laing, Sky’s MD of Entertainment, News and Broadcast Operations.

Turner Laing, comments, “As we continue to increase investment in UK production, this is a natural step in the evolution of Sky’s content business. We are producing world-class television – innovative, creatively ambitious and, in many cases, on an epic scale. 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.”

Sky says it completed the acquisition of Parthenon yesterday, noting that it had gross assets of £18.2 million as of June 30 2011, its most recent audited group financial statements.

Sky’s moves this week have been intriguing. News Corp and BSkyB took part in a £45m ($71) investment round in Roku, known for its technologies for streaming video, games and music to TV.

Roku has an established customer base in the US and it is thought that Sky may be challenging Netflix for its audience through the move.

Earlier this month, Sky also stepped into the pay-as-you-go Internet TV arena for the UK with the launch of Now TV. Initially launching for Windows, PCs, Mac and Android, the service should soon arrive for iOS, Xbox, PS3 and Roku.

Image Credit: DeclanTM