Friday, 3 July 2009

New channels, great expectation

As the UK TV broadcast industry goes through some serious structural shake ups and looks to take a fresh approach to revenue generation, there are plenty of new TV services appearing on the horizon. In recent weeks I’ve seen some interesting developments happening in the industry including launches of new channels.

Hulu TV
Times Online reported last Sunday that Hulu, the most popular TV streaming website in US, will start streaming shows to British internet users from September 2009. “In contrast to video-on-demand services from British broadcasters, such as the BBC’s iPlayer and Channel 4’s 4oD, which restrict themselves to the output of their parent corporations, Hulu will offer shows from UK broadcasters including Channel 4, ITV and possibly even the BBC.” The service will be available free for all UK residents.

Freeview HD
The BBC recently confirmed that Freeview HD transmissions will be rolled out by Christmas. Initially only covering Manchester and Liverpool, the rollout will soon expand and eventually reach the rest of the UK by 2012. Freeview HD will show BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 at first; however it’s reported that the new Freeview HD broadcasts won’t work on many existing Freeview set-top boxes, which means most viewers will have to buy a new TV or a new STB.

Having bought the rights to broadcast two of the six packages of English Premiership games for the 2009-10 season from Setanta, Disney owned, US channel ESPN will launch in time for the new season, according to Evening Standard.

Disney XD
Disney is launching a new entertainment channel Disney XD this autumn in replacement of Jetix, the children’s entertainment channel. Broadly aimed at six-to-14-year-old boys and their families, the channel will include a mix of live programmes and animation with a focus on sports, adventure, music and comedy.

Quest TV
Despite plans to launch in May, Discovery Channels has recently decided to postpone the launch for Quest TV till later this year. To be launched on Freeview, Quest is expected to provide factual, lifestyle and entertainment programmes from the archives of Discovery Communications and other imported material.

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