Channel 4’s entertainment channel E4 is set to become the key
commercial channel in the broadcaster’s digital portfolio.
E4 will be a free-to-air channel unlike Film Four, which is now run on a
pay-per-view basis. E4’s content will be available automatically when a
customer signs up for digital television, whereas viewers must pay a
monthly subscription to Channel 4 in order to receive Film Four.
Film Four only runs ads in between its movies so they can be broadcast
without interruption. E4 will be Channel 4’s main source of ad revenue
and will screen light entertainment programmes such as quiz shows and US
sitcoms, including Friends.
E4’s commercial and advertising strategy will be the responsibility of
Mike Parker, head of the newly formed client sales division within
The division is already responsible for Film Four, a digital racing
channel which is due to launch in November, and through-the-line
advertising for Channel 4 books, videos and CDs.
Parker said: ’We hope to attract young male viewers, who will be able to
access the channel directly and increase its value to advertisers.’
Kevin Lygo, head of entertainment and music, has been appointed
controller of programmes for E4.
Lygo will be responsible for commissioning programmes that are suitable
for broadcast across both Channel 4 and E4.
Andrew Newman, deputy commissioning editor of Channel 4’s entertainment
division, will join E4 as head of programming.
The entertainment channel is set to launch in the winter but Parker said
that the new appointments suggested it might be up and running sooner