Sony Channels Change

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  • Sony is to revamp its UK channel portfolio yet again: time to get used to some new names:


    The company confirmed today it would ditch the True Channels brand in September and reinstate the Sony Channel brand it only axed last year. It comes just weeks after it reduced the availability of some of its channels on Freeview, axed True Crime and relegated Sony Crime Channel.

    The Sony channels change happens tomorrow, Sept 10, with yet another rebrand of their portfolio of channels.


    These are the changes happening on all all platforms:


    • True Entertainment becomes Sony Channel.
    • Movies4Men becomes Sony Movies Action
    • True Movies become Sony Movies Classic - although it becomes a Christmas films channels until the end of the year before it becomes "classic."
    • Sony Movie Channel becomes Sony Movies

    No idea whether Sony Crime Channel will survive the changes or not, we'll find out tomorrow.


    Sony has really been chopping and changing its channels over the last year with rebrands, relaunches and closures. What I didn't know was that Sony sold its music channels a year ago, so what was once a considerable force on the EPG's of our tv services, is now much diminished. I've speculated on the media mergers thread that I expect Sony's Colombia Pictures and other assets to eventually be merged in with someone like ViacomCBS or bought by a larger player like Netflix, but they do seem to be struggling now which is odd considering the vast amount of content they own from Who Wants to Be A Millionaire to Spiderman.


    Anyone watch the Sony Channels? Do you think this rebrand is a good idea?

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  • I don't think not having the music channels significantly diminishes them. Music channels are struggling these days, that's certainly the impression reports give, talking about competition from likes of Youtube and Spotify-like streamers.


    The main mistake (IMHO) Sony made was changing Sony Channel to Sony Crime Channel, the ratings fell considerably. I watched Sony Channel a fair amount, I have no interest in the true crime genre, and they further confused it by having Sony Crime Channel 2 which was all true crime, unlike the main channel that had crime dramas, which confused the brand further, certainly for viewers on platforms that had Sony Crime Channel 2.


    Much of the moving about Freeview I think is about saving money from the losses made from their costly bad recent decisions. Freeview carriage is costly, so giving up main transmitters for Local ones saves a lot, allows them to keep their higher EPG numbers and they can wait it out until conditions improve, maybe a few services close as moving into the former spaces on Freeview overstretches them.

  • I don't think not having the music channels significantly diminishes them. Music channels are struggling these days, that's certainly the impression reports give, talking about competition from likes of Youtube and Spotify-like streamers.

    Why I think its specifically a mistake for Sony to ditch music channels is because they're the biggest music company in the world right now, in terms of content they own. I know all the kiddies use streaming now and perhaps that's their justification and perhaps they're right, but I don't think they should've put all their eggs in one basket just yet.


    The main mistake (IMHO) Sony made was changing Sony Channel to Sony Crime Channel, the ratings fell considerably. I watched Sony Channel a fair amount, I have no interest in the true crime genre, and they further confused it by having Sony Crime Channel 2 which was all true crime, unlike the main channel that had crime dramas, which confused the brand further, certainly for viewers on platforms that had Sony Crime Channel 2.


    Much of the moving about Freeview I think is about saving money from the losses made from their costly bad recent decisions. Freeview carriage is costly, so giving up main transmitters for Local ones saves a lot, allows them to keep their higher EPG numbers and they can wait it out until conditions improve, maybe a few services close as moving into the former spaces on Freeview overstretches them.

    Interesting. I don't follow Freeview (or Sky) closely at the moment, so I think you maybe right on that one.


    And Sony Crime is still on, so it looks like that channel is staying for the time being.

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  • Horizon, Sony have a history of having obvious crossovers and synergies between divisions and in reality they don't talk to each other, or if they they do, it's grudgingly and not much gets done in the end.


    Sony's UK TV channel division bought those music channels from another company and, all indications, ran them as is. They used some of their slots for their non-music channels. It's highly unlikely the UK TV channel division talked to the music division, given the historical lack of talk between divisions. They wouldn't have done any more than the existing channel did before they bought it. Probably just kept the same staff and took the profits running it as it was before.


    Sony ran a PC gaming division separately from PlayStation, and just as it looked like they'd integrate it, they sold it. Their Music division, I believe I read somewhere, publishes their own mobile games in Japan. Again, separate.


    I believe the Sony UK Asian TV channels operation is completely separate from the one that we are talking about above. Two similar divisions of the same larger parent, serving the same market (though not the same demographic), and they are separate. Mad.


    My point, they don't do the obvious. Many big companies with fingers in many media pies similarly lack communication between their divisions. Sometimes, in other big companies, divisions even fight with each other, get jealous, and even sabotage things because of long time grudges.

  • I think the music channels will be stronger under Trace's ownership than they were being neglected by Sony. Sony has acquired a strange mix of channels over the years and some consolidation is to be expected. It seems that we are now seeing that consolidation. It is still difficult to see where Sony are going with the latest changes, the content of the channels doesn't seem to have changed significantly with the rebrands. I don't really think the problem is with the channel names, more with the dreadful, aged, low budget content. If these channels are to thrive, they will need quite a lot of cash thrown at them. At the moment, that doesn't seem to be the plan.


    As for the music channels, I was expecting to see an announcement from VM about adding a batch of new music channels bringing more value to customers. That was when the removal of the MTV channels appeared to be imminent, during the dispute with Viacom. Of course, we've still to see how that little dispute plays out.

  • My point, they don't do the obvious. Many big companies with fingers in many media pies similarly lack communication between their divisions. Sometimes, in other big companies, divisions even fight with each other, get jealous, and even sabotage things because of long time grudges.

    Although this is not the media mergers thread, I'm kind of hoping Sony merge their film and tv assets in with someone like ViacomCBS (as it will be) and just become a shareholder, rather than a operator of media assets.


    As you say, big companies seem to struggle with their various divisors, GE, as was, struggling with their media assets like NBC and more recently AT&T with Time Warner.


    I don't really think the problem is with the channel names, more with the dreadful, aged, low budget content. If these channels are to thrive, they will need quite a lot of cash thrown at them. At the moment, that doesn't seem to be the plan.

    The picture quality on their channels has always been poor in my opinion and could definitely do with going HD, but I don't think the actual content is poor. Yes, it's ageing now, but there are a lot of what was once prime time American dramas on their channels which i assume were filmed on 35mm film and if Sony did give their channels the HD treatment, these shows would at least look better. That said, i agree, they need to spend money on new content.

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  • Although this is not the media mergers thread, I'm kind of hoping Sony merge their film and tv assets in with someone like ViacomCBS (as it will be) and just become a shareholder, rather than a operator of media assets.


    As you say, big companies seem to struggle with their various divisors, GE, as was, struggling with their media assets like NBC and more recently AT&T with Time Warner.


    The picture quality on their channels has always been poor in my opinion and could definitely do with going HD, but I don't think the actual content is poor. Yes, it's ageing now, but there are a lot of what was once prime time American dramas on their channels which i assume were filmed on 35mm film and if Sony did give their channels the HD treatment, these shows would at least look better. That said, i agree, they need to spend money on new content.

    Well I wouldn't want that particular merger suggestion, most of the big media companies are in the US, no need to worsen the situation. A wide spread of owner locations is for the best, no one country dominating.


    As for Sony Channel content, they used to do better on the old channel before the Crime change. They had Community, Hot In Cleveland, Younger, off the top of my head. Think most of that was while they were Sony Entertainment Television.

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