Arts channel plans Sky launch

A digital arts channel and website are preparing to launch at the end of this year.

A digital arts channel and website are preparing to launch at the

end of this year.



ArtsWorld will be available to BSkyB subscribers and will offer a broad

choice of feature films, dance, classical music and arts features taken

from TV stations around the world. It will also commission original

programming from independent producers.



The channel will transmit daily from midday until midnight and will work

closely with its associated web portal. ArtsWorld.com will have links to

arts and ticket sites such as TicketMaster.com.



The Guardian Media Group and BSkyB have each agreed to buy a 20 per cent

stake in the channel. The venture was founded by ex-Royal Opera House

chief Jeremy Isaacs, and its chief executive is John Hambley, a former

Channel 5 director.



Hambley said the monthly subscription channel would carry advertising on

TV and the net, although its owners have yet to decide who will be

handling advertising sales.



Hambley confirmed the channel was looking for a media agency. An

appointment is likely to be made in the next few weeks.



He said: ’ArtsWorld will be a modern station appealing to a wide range

of tastes. The audience will be clearly defined, affluent and

upmarket.



The channel will offer advertisers a precisely targeted opportunity and

we expect both advertising and arts sponsorship to play a major

part.



’As well as broadcasting whole operas and dance performances, there will

be a daily topical digest of what’s coming up. ArtsWorld will not be a

rerun channel.’



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