Five launches online soap portal

LONDON - Five has launched a website dedicated to television soap operas called Holy Soap, which will carry news and gossip not only about its own soaps, but those of the BBC and ITV as well.

Holy Soap will be the official online home of Five's line-up of Australian soaps 'Neighbours' and 'Home & Away'.

The site replaces the two exisiting stand alone websites and will feature full episodes of the two Aussie soaps, which will be available to watch on the site the same day they are broadcast on Five. 

In addition it will also contain comprehensive news and gossip about all of Britain's biggest soaps including the BBC's 'EastEnders', ITV's 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' and Channel 4's 'Hollyoaks'.

Other features on the Holy Soap will include video spoilers previewing the upcoming action, full episode guides offering glimpses of storylines up to seven days in advance, cast and character profiles, and exclusive interviews and galleries of images.

In a departure it will also include links to full episodes of soap operas on BBC, ITV and Channel Four websites.

Jonathan Lewis, Five's head of digital media, said: "We're not precious. We know that soap fans have voracious appetites and that many of the same people who love Neighbours and Home & Away love the soaps on the other channels too.

"So it makes sense to create a destination where individuals can share their love of all the big soaps on TV.

"And who knows? We may drive some 'Corrie' fans or 'EastEnders' aficionados to rediscover the joys of Five's Aussie soaps too.

"Whatever your favourite soap, we're confident that Holy Soap will be the first place you'll visit to find out about the shows you love to watch."

The site is the latest extension into vertical categories for Five's Digital Media Group and follows the launch of Five Fwd, a cars and gadgets portal for young men that features full episodes of 'The Gadget Show' and 'Fifth Gear'.

Next up is a cricket-related micro site to host its exclusive video coverage of the Ashes series.

Holy Soap was designed by Taglab and developed by Unboxed Consulting.