It's weird since Comcast took over Sky they seem to be on for launching linear channels in the UK where as in the last few years in the US they have been culling several channels. With everything going on demand/streaming it odd that they are launching new pay TV channels whatever about FTA ones.
It is a (kind of) streaming tactic in my opinion.
You have to imagine that Sky are expecting an overall reduction in linear channels over the next few years... as some of the larger groups start focusing or relying on their on-demand propositions. As a result Sky will have to do the same as a result and both create more programming and acquire more programming too and serve them to both their linear viewers and their on demand customers.
As a result the new channels fulfil two objectives - 1) They will continue to serve that traditional pay tv base with a broad portfolio of channels with their own brands as the main proposition and 2) they have a large range of programming that serves an on demand audience and those brands help curate the library.
Jeffmister and BBCME gave kudos