Giving people the TV they love is right at the heart of what we do. Content defines our brand and sets us apart from competitors. And it connects powerfully with customers, creating more reasons to join and stay with Sky.

We never forget that our customers are families and individuals with their own unique tastes and interests. Our goal is to give them access to a world of entertainment to fuel their passions and, with the stunning picture and sound quality of HD, an experience that they can't get anywhere else.

To make sure we keep bringing customers a better choice of TV, we have continued to invest in standout content. Last year, we invested £1.9 billion in programming, more than any other commercial broadcaster in the UK. That investment supports not just our own wholly-owned channels but also the channels from our partners such as History Channel, Discovery, National Geographic and UKTV. It is part of our commitment to bring customers the depth and breadth of choice that they can't find on free-to-air TV.

Entertainment

The filming of Going Postal

Sky1 continues to grow in strength and confidence. In the last year, it has further developed its commitment to original UK drama and introduced distinctive new entertainment shows, while continuing to showcase the very best US imports.

This year, two of our biggest drama highlights combined Hollywood-style production values and HD picture quality with compelling results. Based on the bestseller by Chris Ryan, the action series Strike Back was a gripping story of betrayal and revenge played out against the backdrop of the war against terror. Going Postal, the third in our series of adaptations of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, featured an impressive cast including Richard Coyle, Charles Dance and David Suchet. The two-part spectacular received widespread acclaim and was described by The Guardian as "boundlessly clever, joyful and exuberant".

As part of a growing focus on original UK entertainment, Got To Dance set out to uncover the nation's favourite new dance talent. The search began with thousands of applications and auditions in 14 cities before culminating in a live final. Other new shows included A League of Their Own, a sports-themed panel show hosted by James Corden, and Pineapple Dance Studios, a tongue-in-cheek reality show that blurred the lines between documentary, comedy and drama.

Sky1 maintained its reputation as the place to watch the best of the US with returning hits like House and Bones, as well as exciting new shows like Modern Family, the hit sitcom from the writers of Frasier. The channel was also home to some of the major TV events of the year, including the unmissable finales to Lost and 24.

News

Cameron, Clegg and Brown debating

Sky News has long challenged the status quo in broadcasting and this year went a step further by helping to bring about a significant first for British politics. By campaigning publicly for televised debates between the main party leaders, Sky News helped to ensure that, for the first time, voters were able to watch their prospective leaders debate their policies in the run-up to the general election.

The success of the debates meant they became a focal point for the campaign and attracted huge audiences, including Sky News' biggest ever audience on the occasion of its own live debate. In recognition of his contribution, Head of Sky News John Ryley received an Individual Achievement Award at this year's Broadcast Digital Awards for his role in bringing about a "defining moment" in broadcasting history.

Election night itself was another significant milestone, marking the launch of Sky News HD, Europe's first HD news channel. Sky News HD provides not just a more vivid viewing experience, but also new ways of exploring news through innovative on-screen panels that provide live analysis, video feeds and graphics showing more detail about the key stories of the day.

With the economy at the forefront of the news agenda, our business journalism has more prominence than ever. To make sure Sky News is always at the heart of the story, in February we opened a new studio in the City of London, which is now the home of Jeff Randall's evening business programme.

For the seventh time in nine years, Sky News was named News Channel of the Year by the Royal Television Society (RTS). Asia correspondent Alex Crawford was honoured with the title of TV Journalist of the Year for the second time, while Sky News' Pakistan: Terror's Frontline received the RTS judges' News Coverage award for its "brave reporting" from Pakistan's Swat Valley.

Movies

Soldiers' face

With Sky Movies, customers can take their pick between more than 450 different movies a week on 11 channels - uncut and ad-free. And because we cover the widest variety of genres, from the biggest blockbusters to cult indie cinema, there is always a film to suit your taste.

Sky Movies is always looking for ways to bring customers the best possible experience. We broadcast hundreds of titles in HD every month and, for added flexibility, our Sky Anytime service offers the latest premieres to watch whenever you want. Our broadband TV service, Sky Player, offers more than 500 movies to watch on demand.

A major highlight on Sky Movies this year was the exclusive premiere of The Pacific, the epic 10-part series produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. A follow-up to the classic Band of Brothers, the series traced the real-life journeys of three US marines during World War II. The $200 million production was the most expensive TV series ever made and was ideally suited to the picture quality of HD.

Arts

Man standing next to a painting

Sky Arts puts culture centrestage in a way that other channels can't match. With four dedicated channels, Sky Arts brings viewers more of the programmes they love, whatever their artistic passion.

Our diverse schedule covers everything from rock to ballet and includes an increasing emphasis on original commissions. Highlights include Songbook, in which leading musicians discuss the art of songwriting, exclusive performances from New York's Met Opera, and The Book Show, a programme devoted entirely to books.

This year, we increased our commitment to live drama with the launch of Playhouse: Live, a season of new plays from five groundbreaking playwrights, premiered live and in HD. The series followed on from the success of last year's Theatre Live, which brought the immediacy of live drama back to the small screen for the first time since the 1980s.

In recognition of its groundbreaking programming, Sky Arts won the innovation award at this year's Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and the specialist channel of the year award at the Broadcast Digital Awards. Sky Arts was also nominated for a BAFTA for its multimedia coverage of Antony Gormley's public art project, One & Other, which was also supported by Sky as part of our commitment to supporting the arts off-screen.

Sport

Cricketers celebrating

Sport has always been a big part of our story. We aim to provide depth and breadth of choice, combined with high-quality and innovative coverage, to satisfy the most passionate fans and every possible interest. As well as showing the nation's favourite sports like football, cricket, rugby and golf, we give valuable exposure to other sports which appeal to a smaller but equally committed audience. Half of our schedule last year was dedicated to sports such as schools athletics, women's cricket, angling and water polo.

Among the year's highlights, we continued our long-standing partnership with cricket with exclusive coverage of the Ashes, which was acclaimed for its innovative use of HD. In rugby, the Premiership and the Engage Super League reached ever-growing audiences.

We screened more sports programming in high definition last year than ever before, with more than 9,200 hours of live sport provided in HD. We broadcast the world's first ever live football match in 3D, with Arsenal and Manchester United's Premier League clash screened in 3D in selected pubs across the UK in January. This was followed by the launch of Sky 3D, Europe's first 3D TV channel, which has broadcast live 3D sport to more than 1,000 pubs nationwide.

Our website, skysports.com, hit a new record in January 2010, recording nearly 17.5 million unique users during the month. And with its live scores and text commentary, the Sky Sports iPhone app is proving to be one of the most popular ways to keep in touch with sport on the move.

Major events for the year ahead include exclusively live coverage of golf's Ryder Cup, England's Ashes defence in Australia and our biggest ever football season, with 115 live Premier League matches.

The investment we have made in sport has helped inject much-needed funding into clubs up and down the country. We're also committed to increasing participation at the grassroots level, through projects like our schools initiative Sky Sports Living for Sport and our partnerships with British Cycling and the England and Wales Cricket Board.

£1.9bn

Investment in programming in 2009/10

6.5m

6.5 million people tuned in to the Sky News Leaders' Debate, the biggest ever audience for a Sky News programme

1st

The Ashes was shown in high definition for the first time by Sky Sports in 2009

  • Picture of Akai, the winner
  • The Sky News studio
  • Two people sitting together on stage
  • Sandra Bullock holding her Oscar
  • Two rugby players in a tackle

GOT TO DANCE

Sky1 HD's Got to Dance is the biggest national dance competition on British television.

FIRST FOR BUSINESS

Jeff Randall broadcasts live from Sky News' new studio in the heart of the City of London.

PLAYHOUSE: LIVE

Live theatre returns to British television with a season of new plays.

THE OSCARS® 2010

Sky Movies brings customers all the action from the 2010 Academy Awards.

HEINEKEN CUP

Sky Sports last year offered more live coverage of Rugby Union's Heineken Cup than ever before.