DON DRAPER will pour his last scotch tonight, as the seventh and final series of Mad Men reaches its moody denouement.
The drama, which features the trials and tribulations of a Madison Avenue advertising firm, moved from the BBC to Sky Atlantic in 2012. The sale gave the programme’s producers, AMC, a nice financial boost – it is thought Sky paid around £250,000 an episode back in 2012.
The move was also proof that Sky Atlantic is part of Sky’s attempts to broaden its appeal away from sport and movies. The channel itself was designed to bring the best of US drama to UK.
Programmes such as Mad Men do not have enormous viewing figures. It was thought they halved to only 47,000 when it moved from the BBC, although that does not account for catch-up viewers. But the programmes are important to Sky’s business because of their wider cultural significance.
Toby Syfret, of media analysts Enders Analysis, said programming like Mad Men “really helps to tie down one group of customers so they don’t leave Sky”.
A Sky spokesman commented: “Mad Men is a great example of the kind of high-quality drama that Sky Atlantic is synonymous with. Exclusive to Sky and Now TV customers, the channel is cited by new customers as one of the main reasons for joining and by existing customers as one of the must-have channels.”