Next month will see Sky’s 3D channel move to its on-demand service, as well as the closure of one of its arts channels, leaving one merged Sky Arts, which will move higher up the electronic programme guide and receive a larger budget.
“Since its launch in 2010, Sky 3D has led the industry, becoming the home of incredible 3D content – from Sir David Attenborough’s award-winning documentaries like Flying Monsters, to the biggest Hollywood blockbusters like Avatar,” commented Luke Bradley-Jones, brand director, TV products at Sky.
However, despite investment in programming the 3D trend isn’t one which has caught on with the public, and demand has not been as high as hoped. As a result, from June Sky 3D will move to the broadcaster’s on-demand service, with the promise of 3D movie premieres including Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men Days of Future Past, and natural history documentaries like Natural History Museum Alive, again fronted by Attenborough.
Sky’s On Demand service currently has almost 7 millions customers in Britain and Ireland, with over 300 million on demand downloads in the last three months, the broadcaster reported recently.
Sky’s two Arts channels will merge into a single ‘super channel’ will move up the EPG and receive an overall programming budget increase of 10 per cent. June will also see the launch of Sky Arts on Demand, offering over 1000 hours of arts programming, the broadcaster has promised, reflecting its “long term commitment to the arts”.
A look at the current programming for Sky Arts 2 shows a raft of ballet performances, classical music, and opera. Shows slated for the new ‘super-channel’ however, include a new ‘sex season’ with Edith Bowman, BalletBoyz (pictured), comedy from Frank Skinner and Vic Reeves, and a talent show, Guitar Star. Sky has also promised ‘the best in ballet, theatre and classical concerts’ but it is unclear what percentage of the budget will be reserved for this programming, and what will be spent on more popular, youth-oriented ‘arts’ shows.
Philip Edgar-Jones, director, Sky Arts commented: “At Sky we believe the arts are for everyone. We know that a lot of our content appeals to genre enthusiasts, and the feedback from our customers tells us that they want to find the stuff they love in one place. With that in mind, we have looked at our offering to make sure customers can more easily find the content they are passionate about. With our new on demand service alongside what we think is the strongest line-up of programmes yet, we think the new look Sky Arts will genuinely offer something for everyone.”