Sky1 becoming two channels

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  • Sky1 is being replaced by two channels Sky Showcase and Sky Max, the latter also being an on-demand service.

    https://www.radiotimes.com/tv/…els-exclusive-newsupdate/


    Sky Showcase is replacing Sky1 on Sky's EPG channel number but it sounds more like Sky Replay (Sky Mix and Sky 2 of old) in concept, so maybe Replay is being axed too?


    This is going to affect multiple platforms so I posted it here. I'm more wanting to discuss it from a platform perspective in this thread, rather than from a broadcasting point of view.

  • Finally got time to look at the Sky channel movements on their Satellite, due 1st September.


    Basically Sky1 is replaced by Sky Showcase, Sky Max goes where Sky Comedy currently is, Sky Comedy moves down one, and every Sky-branded channel gets shunted down to the place of the next Sky-branded channel. EXCEPT Sky Arts which will be getting turfed out and put in the recently vacated (by Sky Nature) Ch 130 (from 122). Sky History and Sky Nature stay in their current positions.


    So after all Sky's trumpeting of their Public Service Broadcaster aspirations, they move Sky Arts to a less prominent position, by more places than the other changes. It will now not by Top 24 which OFCOM have as the place for PSB channels.


    And on that note, there's likely to be another change when BBC3 relaunches in broadcast form. And I'd speculated that the recent Sky Nature move would be reversed for BBC3, back to Ch 130, now it's filled.


    Now I've been told, when I'd speculated elsewhere, that Sky Replay would likely be closing, and I was told it was, but I can't find a source to back this up. Sky Replay is on Ch 145 currently, so that space may be held empty to enable future shuffles.


    And all this is just the Sky platform. The Press Release says the channels will launch on Now TV, BT and Virign Media, but no further details.

    • Staff Notice

    Sky Replay is being closed down. According to Sky’s own press release, the non-premium channels will now be:


    • Sky Showcase – 106
    • Sky Max - 113
    • Sky Witness – 107
    • Sky Atlantic – 108
    • Sky Comedy - 114
    • Sky Documentaries - 121
    • Sky Crime - 122
    • Sky History - 123
    • Sky Nature - 124
    • Sky Arts - 130
    • Sky Kids (on-Demand)
    • E! – 151
    • SyFy - 152

    It is, I think, a sensible move. Sky Replay was pretty worthless as it was little more than repeats from Sky One, and in SD only.


    Sky Showcase will be a selection of programmes from a wider range of channels, and presumably in HD, so it will be a channel with some pretty good content on it. However, will it just comprise the first episode of each series, or the whole series? I guess we will have to wait to find out.



    Sky Max appears to be taking on the content of the existing Sky One minus some comedy shows. An improvement in the general quality of shows on this channel would be nice. Maybe it will benefit from new output from Sky Studios and Comcast.

  • I was like "does it? I've read it ten million times today..." But I didn't think to consider it does so by omission. Ta.


    If that's the case then Movies24 and Movies24+ are gone too, but they've been omitted from previous, similar, Sky Press Releases to my recollection, so that's not definite confirmation.


    Earlier today I saw Sky Showcase described as Sky Sports Main Event, but for all their channels. If that holds true then Showcase will show more than one episode of things. It's too restrictive to schedule, so I don't think we need to worry about that.


    Sky Max, the more I think about it, is just going to be Sky1 without sitcoms (which are going to Sky Comedy), that's what all the programming mentioned so far for it amounts to.

    • Staff Notice

    This seems a confused move to me. Replacing two channels with, er, two channels.


    Unless these channels somehow become a way for Sky/Comcast to advertise their streaming service(s), I don't really see the point of them.

    If that's the case then Movies24 and Movies24+ are gone too, but they've been omitted from previous, similar, Sky Press Releases to my recollection, so that's not definite confirmation.

    Ah, well noticed. Can't see these two surviving for much longer.


    Edit:


    Also, no mention of Challenge.

    • Staff Notice

    Earlier today I saw Sky Showcase described as Sky Sports Main Event, but for all their channels. If that holds true then Showcase will show more than one episode of things. It's too restrictive to schedule, so I don't think we need to worry about that.


    Sky Max, the more I think about it, is just going to be Sky1 without sitcoms (which are going to Sky Comedy), that's what all the programming mentioned so far for it amounts to.


    But we also know that Sky Studios is increasing their output. Hopefully, that will bolster the programming for the Sky Max channel.

    Unless I'm misreading their press release, it seems that Sky are saying all their best stuff will go on Sky Showcase a BBC1 esque channel with Sky Max as the lesser channel with rubbish like panel shows on it.


    The fact that they are going to put "some" films and sports on Showcase is interesting. Perhaps Sky want to be a PSB after all, or, Showcase will simply be a vehicle to advertise the future enhanced Sky/Comcast streamer, if and when it ever launches here. Throw your dice on that one.

  • Ah, well noticed. Can't see these two surviving for much longer.


    Edit:


    Also, no mention of Challenge.

    Movies24 gets higher ratings than Sky Nature, Comedy, Documentaries, Replay and Syfy during Christmas rebrand. Movies24+ goes up too at that time of year. It's not that straightforward. My mother watches them regularly.


    They didn't mention Pick either. Challenge is decent ratings for little money.


    As naff as some channels seem to others, they can make money for minimal effort.

    • Staff Notice

    Unless I'm misreading their press release, it seems that Sky are saying all their best stuff will go on Sky Showcase a BBC1 esque channel with Sky Max as the lesser channel with rubbish like panel shows on it.


    The fact that they are going to put "some" films and sports on Showcase is interesting. Perhaps Sky want to be a PSB after all, or, Showcase will simply be a vehicle to advertise the future enhanced Sky/Comcast streamer, if and when it ever launches here. Throw your dice on that one.

    It’s the pick of what will be on other Sky channels. So either the programmes will be simulcast with whatever channel’s programme is being shown on Showcase or they will be shown at different times altogether. Sky Sports Mix is simulcast with the channel showing the particular sport event, and I think this will be the same.

  • It’s the pick of what will be on other Sky channels. So either the programmes will be simulcast with whatever channel’s programme is being shown on Showcase or they will be shown at different times altogether. Sky Sports Mix is simulcast with the channel showing the particular sport event, and I think this will be the same.

    It's Sky Sports Main Event that it seems to resemble, Sky Sports Mix is more Women's sports, overflow from their other Sports channels, sports documentaries, and repeats of events. Sky's PR/Marketing push the Women's sport angle for Mix mostly. There aren't that many simulcasts, I watch a fair bit of Mix, I don't have the other Sky Sports channels (aside from Racing and Sports News which are also in different, lower, tiers).


    ----

    Sky Max reads like Sky1 without the sitcoms/comedy to me, those are going to Sky Comedy and all the other shows are what they've been showing on Sky1 over the last few years anyway, Sky Originals included.


    Others have speculated it's just an elaborate distraction to help move people into a different frame of mind due to losing the likes of The Simpsons. Sky said around 18 months ago the show availability would change, and it takes up a lot of the Sky 1 schedule.


    I think all this is basically a rebranding and slight focus change in disguise. A bit of smoke and mirrors. Like launching a Sky Replay HD with better, newer, content almost.

  • Sorry, yes, I meant Main Event.


    I think it is a better arrangement overall, and if Sky Studios live up to their promise, Sky Max will be better than Sky 1.

    The Sky Studios stuff so far has been underwhelming. They are trying, but it's not clicking. And I get the impression it's not just for me, there's little buzz about the shows so far, no proper breakout hit.


    They are aiming higher and more ambitious though, concepts that previously wouldn't get made as they required more than British shows can normally budget for. So I have hope.

    • Staff Notice

    They are definitely expanding their output, but we have yet to see the benefits of that, and the Covid restrictions will have delayed the roll out of new shows.


    As to the quality, we shall see. They did a good job with Strikeback, except that it went on too long and became less believable with the later seasons.

  • They are definitely expanding their output, but we have yet to see the benefits of that, and the Covid restrictions will have delayed the roll out of new shows.


    As to the quality, we shall see. They did a good job with Strikeback, except that it went on too long and became less believable with the later seasons.

    I'm hesitant to hold old Sky-commissioned shows to comparison with this new Sky Studios endeavour. In my mind they are separate. I won't be comparing the quality of the excellent Terry Pratchett adaptations to likes of the recent Intergalactic, they came from a different commissioning venture.


    And then there are the co-commissioned shows. Strikeback was a co-production with Cinemax (part of HBO, and therefore Warner Bros), the more recent Avenue 5 is too (HBO this time). When there are two parties involved it's harder to allocate credit to those that deserve it, sometimes one partner is on the project much longer than the other, and they are the ones that deserve the majority of the praise. Often a partner can just be a wallet, not a creative contributer e.g. I credit the BBC and the production company for Good Omens, rather than Amazon who came on board much later yet act like it's only their show.

  • I suspect that Showcase will either be like an ITV style general entertainment channel or it will be used as a taster and only show one or two episodes of a new series, with viewers directed to the substantive channel that it airs on.


    Anything from Sky Atlantic will encourage Virgin customers to switch to Sky or buy Now TV.

  • I suspect that Showcase will either be like an ITV style general entertainment channel or it will be used as a taster and only show one or two episodes of a new series, with viewers directed to the substantive channel that it airs on.


    Anything from Sky Atlantic will encourage Virgin customers to switch to Sky or buy Now TV.

    The only example of this strategy is Channel 4. It regularly premieres Walter Presents series, ones that aren't on Fridays on More4 to be clear, late night night on the main channel and if you want to watch the rest you need All4.


    Sky has in the past shown whole seasons on other channels, they showed Game Of Thrones Season 1 on Sky1, that's how I first saw the show, and (I think) Ray Donovan for a season or two. Westworld S1-2 were shown on SyFy in the run-up to Season 3. Again how I saw the show.


    Showing just the first episode of a series will irritate some people, or at least catch them out (it did with me the first time Channel 4 did it), and will also be difficult to schedule. I can see a fair few omitting it from their EPG Favourites filter.


    I think they'll take the 1 season/series approach for most content, and subsequent series will only be on their home channel.

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