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    Sky to drop one of its arts channels

    This is a discussion on Sky to drop one of its arts channels within the Sky news and announcements forums, part of the SkyUser Announcements category; Sky to drop one of its arts channels | Media | The Guardian Services to be replaced from 9 June ...

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      Sky to drop one of its arts channels

      Sky to drop one of its arts channels | Media | The Guardian
      Services to be replaced from 9 June by one ‘super channel’ higher up the EPG and with an improved budget

      Sky will drop one of its two Sky Arts channels, home to Jon Hamm drama A Young Doctor’s Notebook and the Playhouse Presents series starring Kylie Minogue and Mark Strong, later this year.

      Part of a shakeup of the broadcaster’s channels from 9 June that will also see the axing of Sky 3D, the two channels will be replaced by a single “super channel” moved higher up Sky’s electronic programme guide in a bid to boost audiences and reduce repeats.

      The channel, home to shows including Portrait Artist of the Year and Melvyn Bragg’s The South Bank Show, alongside its classical, opera and rock music output, will be given a 10% budget boost as part of the changes.

      Phil Edgar-Jones, head of Sky Arts, who took over the network a year ago, said it was a “massive win” for the channel which will move up from the fourth to the third page of the Sky EPG in the slot currently occupied by Sky2.

      “I have argued for quite a long time we should have one Sky Arts channel not two. I didn’t see the sense when we can do one super channel effectively,” he told the Guardian.

      He said none of the current output would be dropped.

      “That’s the beauty of this, we are repeating less, structuring the week differently,” said Edgar-Jones, who previously oversaw Big Brother for Channel 4.

      “Being on page 3 [of the EPG] we’ll have more eyeballs, footfall. It is hard to predict exactly [how audiences will increase], but up to 30%,” he added.

      Sky Arts is also getting a budget increase of about 10% and is creating an on-demand platform, which will have a prominent logo, and signposts to “library” collections of opera and ballet through to heavy metal.

      “I think it is true when it comes to the arts, most people don’t like all the arts, so a Johnny Cash fan isn’t necessarily a fan of the Globe Theatre productions,” said Edgar-Jones. “People tend not to sit on the channel and watch everything. They cherry-pick the genre they are enthusiastic about.”

      Edgar-Jones said that the TV landscape has changed since Sky Arts launched a second channel in 2008, one to focus on more popular contemporary art including rock concerts, and the second on classical music and opera.

      “We can put that all in one place quite easily because of the on-demand offering. The perception, when I started, was that the older audience wasn’t taking up on demand as swiftly as the younger audience, but that turns out in our research not to be true.”

      Sky Arts appeals to relatively upmarket ABC1 viewers aged typically between 45 and 55, skewing towards male viewers who make up 55% of the audience, attracted by the vintage rock.

      The programme budget is currently estimated to be upwards of £8m a year, with a monthly reach of about 7 million viewers.

      However, audiences for individual shows remain a fraction of those to the mainstream channels, with primetime shows regularly watched by fewer than 10,000 viewers in the overnight ratings. Its most popular shows, such as the Playhouse series, can attract about 100,000 viewers.

      The new schedule is also being streamlined, with each day of the week having a particular theme: the most popular strand, Portrait Artist/Landscape Artist of the Year, will run on Tuesday, designated factual entertainment night.

      Music and concerts, including violinist André Rieu, and festivals, will still dominate on Saturday and Sundays.

      The relaunch in June will kick off with a new talent show, Guitar Star, and a “sex season” later in the summer will include a Ballet Boys production themed on the Kama Sutra. Edgar-Jones describes it as “quite startling”.

      Sky Arts has gone through a series of changes since it was launched in 2000 as the subscription Arts World channel with backing from the Guardian Media Group.

      The then BSkyB stepped in to take a 50% stake in 2003, took full control two years later, and then rechristened it Sky Arts.


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      Re: Sky to drop one of its arts channels

      a “sex season” later in the summer will include a Ballet Boys production themed on the Kama Sutra. Edgar-Jones describes it as “quite startling”.
      Must remember to set a reminder for that one.
      Scubbie likes this.

      TomD


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      Re: Sky to drop one of its arts channels

      Finally, the official Press Release from Sky...

      https://corporate.sky.com/media-cent...d-edith-bowman

      As the UK’s only dedicated channel for the arts, Sky Arts will now match that proposition on demand, with the launch of a comprehensive Sky Arts on demand service this June. Reflecting the way customers consume content, and the broad range of genres in the arts, Sky Arts On Demand will offer customers over 1000 hours of dedicated arts programming, as well as introducing exclusive new on demand only content, commissioned or acquired especially for the service. Sky Arts new on demand service underlines Sky’s long term commitment to the arts, and represents a step change in the channel’s ambition - alongside a move up the electronic programme guide (EPG), where it will consolidate into a single ‘super channel,’ and an overall programming budget increase of 10%.

      The investment in on demand reflects Sky’s position as the biggest connected TV platform, with over 7 million connected customers. Sky Arts On Demand will be one of the richest archives of arts programming in the UK and Ireland, and will be accessed via a Sky Arts tab, the first time for a Sky channel. Sky Arts On Demand will allow customers to navigate their way through a curated selection of genres, themes and areas of interest.

      Sky Arts will also acquire and commission content exclusively for the on demand service . In a unique new feature, Galleries On Demand, will partner with galleries to offer up a masterpiece painting a day to download to act as a smart TV backdrop in customer homes. From the masters to modern works, this television first offers something different to arts lovers in the UK and Ireland.

      Alongside the changes to Sky Arts service, the channel will unveil its most ambitious programming line-up to date, featuring a brand new ‘sex season’ with Edith Bowman, The BalletBoyz (pictured) and The Chapman Brothers; new dramas from Stephen Mangan, Idris Elba and Rhys Ifans; comedy with Kim Cattrall, Frank Skinner and Vic Reeves; and a new strand, Hot Tickets which will offer customers front row seats to the nation’s best arts performances, including the best in ballet, theatre and classical concerts, as well as the quest to find the UK and Ireland’s best guitarist in Guitar Star.

      The move signals the further evolution of Sky Arts following almost a decade of investment in the arts in UK and Ireland both on and off-screen as the only dedicated arts channels in the UK and as one of the longest standing corporate supporters of the arts. It follows Sky Arts’ most recent initiative Sky Arts Amplify, which encourages arts organisations and production companies to pitch collaboratively for up to £1million annually on new TV ideas, as part of a broader investment in the UK and Ireland’s creative industries. Sky Arts currently reaches over 5 million customers monthly.

      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.”

      Sky Arts’ dedicated on demand area, and the move to channel 121 will take place on 9th June 2015.


      SEX SEASON


      Sky Arts’ sex season will tempt customers with a collection of programmes which examine the subject through the prism of art, literature and culture. The BalletBoyz: Kama Sutra is a performance piece from The BalletBoyz which offers a modern take on the ancient Indian Hindu text. One of the world’s most inventive dance companies, The BalletBoyz will feature in this one-off documentary as they get to grips with the new piece, led by award-winning choreographer Javier De Frutos, and ultimately perform the dance for viewers at home. Edith Bowman will uncover the best Songs To Have Sex To in a documentary which takes viewers on a journey into art, science and popular culture to answer this little-asked question. Broadchurch actor Lucy Cohu becomes prolific journal-keeper and erotic writer, Anais Nin, for Erotic Adventures of Anais Nin which focuses on her time in 1930s hedonistic Paris and details her affairs with Henry Miller and his wife, amongst others. The Art of The Joy of Sex will celebrate the 1970s tome from which it takes its name with a new artwork inspired by the book, and its cultural impact, from renowned artist Julie Verhoeven.

      MUSIC AND DOCUMENTARIES


      In the documentaries and performance space, Lenny Henry will appear in a three-part series for Sky Arts, where he talks to Van Morrisson, Tinie Tempah and Jools Holland on a quest to discover why the UK has never produced a single black blues singer of international fame, to the backdrop of his own journey to record his first blues music album. Lenny Henry’s Got The Blues will culminate in a live performance in London where Lenny will be joined on stage by talented friends including Lulu, Mica Paris and Laura Mvula. Arts grandee Melvyn Bragg returns with a sixth South Bank Sky Arts Awards – recognising the best talent across theatre, film, pop music, comedy and more – along with a new series of The South Bank Show in June. The fourth series features in-depth interviews with novelist Margaret Drabble, director Paul Greengrass and Game of Thrones author George RR Martin amongst the star-studded line-up.

      Sky Arts introduces Hot Ticket Mondays in July, where customers are offered a front row seat at the nation’s best arts events in their own living room on the first Monday of the month. Delivering access to a range of sought-after live performances, Hot Tickets will bring customers closer to all the arts world action in 2015.

      Bringing customers closer to some of the UK’s biggest music events, Sky Arts returns to Latitude in 2015, airing highlights from across the weekend from the two main stages where Noel Gallagher, Portishead and Alt J will perform, plus the best bits from across the event. The channel also features highlights from across the festival season, journeying to the Isle of White festival, the Cambridge Folk Festival and rock/metal/punk extravaganza, Download to showcase the broadest range of live music on television today.

      COMEDY


      Following on from sex, seasons will enjoy a regular outing on the channel with a Physical Comedy strand airing in the autumn. Kim Cattrall returns to the channel, this time trying her hand at physical comedy for the first time in Ruby Robinson, which combines mime, acrobatics and jaw-dropping feats of corporeal movement to tell an unusual, comic morality tale. Some of the UK’s best-loved comics join forces with rising stars to deliver a further three comedies in the season with Kevin Eldon, Jim Moir (aka Vic Reeves), Johnny Vegas, Frank Skinner, Seann Walsh, Sam Simmons, Jocelyn Jee Esien, Marek Larwood, Mike Wozniak and Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award winners John Kearns and Phil Burgers (aka Dr Brown) and others all stepping up to celebrate this art form with gleeful abandon.

      DRAMA


      This summer packs a punch in drama too, when Idris Elba tells the story of his tumultuous childhood in King for a Term, an original drama written and directed by Elba, based on his upbringing in Hackney, east London. In addition, artist Jake Chapman’s The Marriage of Reason and Squalor (WT) is a highly original twisted romance taking its cue from romance novels of time gone by starring Rhys Ifans and Sophie Kennedy Clark. Stephen Mangan reprises his celebrated role as a pregnant man awaiting the birth of his child, alongside Anna Maxwell-Martin as his wife and Louise Brealey as the registrar, in the hilarious and touching Birthday, adapted for television for Joe Penhall, who wrote the original Royal Court Play, and directed by Roger Michell.

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      Re: Sky to drop one of its arts channels

      Merging these 2 channels & providing more on demand content makes a lot of sense to me.

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      Re: Sky to drop one of its arts channels

      Judging on the emphasis on sex, maybe this channel should be moved into the Adult section. Possibly, as they call it 'art', they may not consider that necessary. I can see lots of complaints coming in if this is not screened well after the watershed.

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      Re: Sky to drop one of its arts channels

      I can't imagine that they would air the series that David Duchovny started in in the early '90s.

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      Re: Sky to drop one of its arts channels

      Quote Originally Posted by Isitme View Post
      Judging on the emphasis on sex, maybe this channel should be moved into the Adult section. Possibly, as they call it 'art', they may not consider that necessary. I can see lots of complaints coming in if this is not screened well after the watershed.
      Knowing Sky Arts there'll be no cause for concern.

      There's always been the occasional programme on there which comes under that general theme.
      They catch my eye when scanning the EPG but i've never noticed anything have even a 15 rating.

      Erm, not like the BBC & that Pan's People / Legs & Co / Hot Gossip or whoever it was on that 1980 Top of the Pops programme.

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      Re: Sky to drop one of its arts channels

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      I can't imagine that they would air the series that David Duchovny started in in the early '90s.
      The Red Shoe thing was early 2000's wasn't it?
      Early naughties.

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      Re: Sky to drop one of its arts channels

      Ha ha...

      I suspect that a lot of X-Files fans were hoping for something more between him and Gillian Anderson in this theme too.
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      Re: Sky to drop one of its arts channels

      Erm, not like the BBC & that Pan's People / Legs & Co / Hot Gossip or whoever it was on that 1980 Top of the Pops programme.
      They were not dancing the Kama Sutra put to music.
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