LONDON (Brand Republic) – UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 is launching three new film channels and is expected to secure carriage deals for its January-launching entertainment channel E4 on NTL and Telewest digital services.
The new film channels are to be: a foreign movie channel, with the working title F4-World; a channel dedicated to showing controversial films, with a working title of F4-Extreme and; a second version of its FilmFour channel, which would work as a one-hour time shift service, currently named F4+1.
Channel 4 said it is building its own transmission facilities, which would enable it to transmit a number of channels from its headquarters in London. The news follows the breakdown in the Channel 4’s discussions with BSkyB about the satellite broadcaster taking a stake in E4.
The deal with BSkyB is believed to have surrounded an exclusivity agreement which would have seen E4 launch on BSkyB for a period before it could be aired on the rival cable networks and ONdigital.
Channel 4 is on the verge of completing E4’s schedule and expects it to be confirmed by November. It is believed to have secured deals with HBO for the first runs of the third series of The Sopranos and Sex in the City. The line-up is also expected to contain Dawson’s Creek, West Wing and new series of ER and Friends.
Channel 4 hopes the channel will eventually be available to 6.5m homes, but is yet to secure a deal with ONdigital.