Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch said last night that the company expects to spend £380m this year on in-house productions and external commissions, including £40m on Sky News and Sky Sports productions. That figure will grow to £600m annually by 2014, he added.
Such an increase would take the amount Sky spends on homegrown productions to nearly double the investment of Channel 4, which spent £362m on UK programming in 2010 out of a budget of £578m.
Sky wants to support more in-house productions in arts, entertainment, news, drama and comedy. New projects include Stella, a comedy from Gavin & Stacey star Ruth Jones, and Hit and Miss, a drama about a pre-op transsexual contract killer starring Chloë Sevigny and written by Shameless creator Paul Abbott.
The company will spend a total of £2bn this year across all of its channels, although £1.6bn of that money is allocated to sports rights and US programme acquisitions for networks such as Sky Atlantic and Sky1.
In a speech at thinktank Reform, Darroch said that "for too long" the broadcasting industry had "suffered from the misconception that good outcomes only happen because they are ordained from above and enacted through some form of intervention".
"Or that content is only worthwhile if it is created through subsidy or by a particular kind of institution", he added, presumably referring to the licence-fee funded BBC.
The BBC's head of drama commissioning Ben Stephenson expressed his doubts over Sky's long-term commitment to backing homegrown drama last October, suggesting that the company is instead more focused on acquiring US-produced content.
Darroch said that when Sky began it "made perfect sense" for the company to focus on the "relatively under-served" areas of sport, movies and 24-hour rolling news.
But Darroch said that Sky's growth into a multi-billion pound pay-TV giant gives the "incentive to broaden out and create more choice beyond those initial strengths".
"Homegrown content resonates strongly and we believe we can both bring more quality and value to existing customers, while also reaching out to more people who haven't yet chosen pay-TV," he said.
"Our plans will take our original entertainment to an entirely different scale, complementing our existing strengths in sport, movies and news. They will mean working with the best production, writing and acting talent and will require focus and creative ambition as well as sustained financial investment.
"This is a significant undertaking for us and a demonstration of our commitment to the UK. Programming like this is inherently risky and time-consuming. But if we get it right, the results won't just be good for our business, but for customers and Britain's creative industries as well."
Sky's revenue increased by 14% to £4.83bn in the nine months to the end of March, heaping pressure on News Corporation to up its takeover bid for the company.