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Plektrum33 posts since 21 Sep 2019
Central (East) East Midlands Today
In my opinion, these new channels from Sky are a pretty clever tactic for competing with Netflix and other streaming services. Take the "Sky" off the front, and you're left with genres -- you're left with the headings/categories along the top of your TV screen when you're looking for something to watch. So you're not only able to claim you are broadcasting more channels, but you're also making the transition from linear TV to catch-up seamless.

Sky started this with the "Sky Kids" branding -- in that case, it was purely on demand, there was no equivalent channel -- and they must have felt that the formula worked. Making extensive use of their partners' content library, but pushing the master brand.

In the viewers' minds, they will hope that the Sky brand becomes synonymous with, well, whatever it is they want to watch!

We have News, Sports, Cinema, Kids, Crime, Comedy, History and (soon) Documentaries... quite a line-up.

For that reason, the History (channel) branding just about works; SyFy would be more of a push, and E! definitely wouldn't work.


Agree 100%.

It’s very easy for people to just go “Urgh, another new channel of imports or re-runs or originals no one will watch” (and then complain when no one launches new channels or closes them) but what they’re actually doing is moving themselves into a future where individual linear channels are not really that important as distinct propositions and instead become a line up of genres that serve ‘Sky’ as an overall proposition whether linear, catch up or SVOD.

New linear channels do help serve those traditional pay tv customers as we begin to see more of the larger media groups perhaps move away from traditional pay tv but what they also do is serve the on demand catalogue and help curate the library under those genre and brands especially as on demand viewing becomes more of a priority.

I think it’s an effective move especially as things like Now TV grow and they may find themselves having to rely more on their own originals and acquisitions going forward rather than carriage deals with Discovery or ViacomCBS who may have their own OTT plans... if they do strike a new Disney deal as expected, I’m more interested in what happens with the content that falls outside of the Disney Plus platform and whether Disney will continue with traditional pay tv channels or move to a new model which may also give more context to Sky really doubling down on their own proposition.
Last edited by Plektrum on 23 February 2020 4:36pm - 2 times in total
PFMC841,826 posts since 28 Feb 2013
UTV Newsline
Sky Documentaries will be getting 114, so we know SyFy will either be moving or closing on 7th April.

Sky Nature could go on 123 so that would mean E! having to move down the EPG or close as well. Given it's tiny audience, a close isn't that surprising.

Sky History would likely stay on 130 but I could see Sky swapping it with Sky Arts so Sky's 3 new factual channels grouped together and all ahead of Discovery on the EPG to boot.
Stuart7,575 posts since 13 Oct 2003
Westcountry Spotlight
Sky History would likely stay on 130 but I could see Sky swapping it with Sky Arts so Sky's 3 new factual channels grouped together and all ahead of Discovery on the EPG to boot.

The rules regarding Sky's EPG moves (within broadcasters' own bouquet of channels) has worked well in the past, giving no one company a particular advantage.


However, the recent takeovers (Comcast of Sky, Discovery of part of UKTV) has allowed some of them to be able to shuffle a larger number of channels between an increased number of existing slots.

I'm not sure that this was ever envisioned during the drafting of the original rules, but it's probably too late to try tinkering with it now.
Inspector Sands14,782 posts since 25 Aug 2004
It's been a long while since I've had Sky or browsed the EPG, but how come entertainment and documentaries are in the same section?

I know it is sometimes difficult to distuingsh the two genres but it seems a bit of a mish mash of channels in the 100s and 200s. I don't know if it's better for Discovery or not
Neil Jones6,440 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
It's been a long while since I've had Sky or browsed the EPG, but how come entertainment and documentaries are in the same section?

I know it is sometimes difficult to distuingsh the two genres but it seems a bit of a mish mash of channels in the 100s and 200s. I don't know if it's better for Discovery or not


Most recent EPG update in May 2018 I think it was merged them all so they could have all the +1's in a more logical place than they were previously. Idea was main channel at 1xx, and the +1 at 2xx, so ITV at 103 and ITV+1 at 203, etc.
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TellyTime228 posts since 9 Jan 2017
The most logical EPG positions for Sky Nature would be 163 or 168, so that it's within the vicinity of Animal Planet (162), Nat Geo Wild (165) and Eden (166).

I'm a bit surprised that they are putting Sky Documentaries on 114, but I guess they wanted it close to BBC Four (116). Hopefully they won't move SYFY too far, as it's one of the best known Pay TV brands, and if they do slap Sky onto the name then it needs a relatively good slot.
TVVT (previously TVPerson) 119 posts since 14 Feb 2019
Granada North West Today
The most logical EPG positions for Sky Nature would be 163 or 168, so that it's within the vicinity of Animal Planet (162), Nat Geo Wild (165) and Eden (166).

I'm a bit surprised that they are putting Sky Documentaries on 114, but I guess they wanted it close to BBC Four (116). Hopefully they won't move SYFY too far, as it's one of the best known Pay TV brands, and if they do slap Sky onto the name then it needs a relatively good slot.

I’m not too sure Sky would want one of their new channels to launch in the 160’s even if near it’s rivals, it’s the logic that moved Real Lives from 170 to 121 when it became Sky Crime. SYFY could go to 145 bumping down or closing Sky Sports Mix. If (Sky) History gets moved up in the guide when it relaunches in April, it could take 130, or to 163 moving up (Sky) History2, or close.
TellyTime228 posts since 9 Jan 2017
The most logical EPG positions for Sky Nature would be 163 or 168, so that it's within the vicinity of Animal Planet (162), Nat Geo Wild (165) and Eden (166).

I'm a bit surprised that they are putting Sky Documentaries on 114, but I guess they wanted it close to BBC Four (116). Hopefully they won't move SYFY too far, as it's one of the best known Pay TV brands, and if they do slap Sky onto the name then it needs a relatively good slot.

I’m not too sure Sky would want one of their new channels to launch in the 160’s even if near it’s rivals, it’s the logic that moved Real Lives from 170 to 121 when it became Sky Crime. SYFY could go to 145 bumping down or closing Sky Sports Mix. If (Sky) History gets moved up in the guide when it relaunches in April, it could take 130, or to 163 moving up (Sky) History2, or close.


It's about appeal and potential audience.

SYFY has a broader appeal and greater potential audience than Sky Nature.
London Lite11,421 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
It feels more like Sky are becoming the British equivelent to Canal+ with all these different genre channels launching so close, plus the merger of History into Sky History makes that statement sort of evident.


And like Sky, Canal+ have shared branded channels with A+E Networks with versions of Crime and Investigation and A&E. I think the standard Planeté+ channel uses commissions from History.
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