Thursday, 21 June 2007

Broadcast: Viacom to give MTV new look.

According to this weeks Broadcast Magazine, Viacom's new general entertainment channel 'MTV R' will launch this autumn after MTV UK is being rebranded to MTV ONE on July 22.
All other MTV channels will also have a makeover.
Each MTV channel will have a South Park-like personality assigned which is meant to characterize each channel.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Digital Spy: New Channels set to launch.

Some exciting new channels are coming soon to Virgin Media, Animal Planet +1 on channel 216 and Discovery Home + Health +1 on Channel 276. This completes the Discovery channel bouquet on Virgin. Info from Technix ( from Digital Spy. ).

Monday, 11 June 2007

Digital Spy: Virgin Media to launch Virgin1.

Virgin Media TV has confirmed it will launch a new entertainment channel, Virgin 1, which will be available on Sky, cable and digital terrestrial television in the autumn.

The channel will mix newly commissioned and acquired programming with user-generated content and content from Virgin Media pay-TV channels.

Catch-ups, previews and exclusive content will be available via broadband and Virgin Media on-demand.

It is thought the channel will be pitched somewhere between its female-targeted channel Living and the male-targeted Bravo, and may replace Virgin Media TV's FTN channel on DTT.

Celia Taylor has been appointed director of programming for the channel alongside her responsibilities for Bravo, Bravo 2, Challenge and Trouble.

She will report to Claudia Rosencrantz, director of television. Jonathan Webb, managing director of Virgin Media Television, said: "I want Virgin 1 and the newly reinvigorated Living to be two of the top television channels by switchover. Virgin 1 will shake up multi-channel and free-to-air TV, and start liberating viewers from the linear schedule. It will be a creative tour de force and a cutting-edge example of any time, any place content. Virgin Media TV has huge support from Virgin Media and Richard Branson, who agree that Virgin 1 is what UK audiences have been waiting for."

Programme acquisitions, understood to include US programming bought at the recent series of upfronts in Los Angeles last month, are expected to be announced soon.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

SET Asia and Max free to view for one month.

My insider has told me tonight that both SET Asia and Max is only free to view for one month.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Broadcast: Virgin Media poised to sign sports news deal

Story from Broadcastnow.

Virgin Media is set to seal a deal to create a sports news channel within the next few weeks, with Setanta Sports the most likely partner.

The cable operator has been in talks about launching its own channel since the Sky basic channels - including Sky Sports News - were removed from its platform on 1 March, after the two companies failed in their carriage deal negotiations.

VM chief executive officer, content division Malcolm Wall said a deal was imminent.

He would not comment on whether Virgin Media would require Sky Sports News should the cable company and Sky settle their carriage dispute, but said VM was "too far into the process not to go ahead with our own sports news channel".

Broadcast revealed earlier this year that VM was in high level talks with emerging Irish broadcaster Setanta Sports.

However, VM is thought to have also sounded out alternative sport specialists.

Meanwhile, Wall said VM would be adding more drama and kids content to its on-demand offering.

He said research showed that users did not think there was enough on the platform and that the company was in talks over deals with ITV and indies which have the rights to their drama productions.

Wall stressed his wish to put as much educational content on the platform as possible, mirroring what is available in the US.

"I want the full national curriculum on our VoD [video-on-demand] offering. The fact we are doubling the content to 6,000 hours helps us get things right in terms of trial and error."

Wall also predicted that the number of linear channels on digital platforms will "tail off". He believes only the bigger channels will survive due to advertising migrating online and the emergence of VoD. "Ad revenues are already moving online," he said.

"The experience in the US shows that ad revenues follow eyeballs so any reduction in TV ad revenue has had a greater impact on smaller channels. There will also be a shift from linear to VoD because there is more personalisation - people watching content when they want."