Sony Pictures Television launching first UK channel
The international arm of Hollywood studio Sony is understood to be acquiring a slot on UK satellite operator Sky's electronic programme guide from Canis Media. That would clear the way for it to launch its first channel in the UK.
Sony Pictures Television currently operates a number of international channels including AXN, general entertainment network SET and a raft of movie channels. It operates a video-on-demand service via UK IPTV operator BT Vision and owns a stake in Virgin Media's FilmFlex VOD service, but it has never launched a linear channel in the UK.
It is expected to acquire the slot formerly operated by Film 24. News of the UK launch was first reported in UK trade title Broadcast.
Canis Media is currently selling the slot and in June announced: "Canis is pleased to announce a unique opportunity has arisen to purchase an entertainment channel in the UK market. Film 24 is a free-to-air channel in a strong position as channel 157, on the Sky Digital EPG (UK digital satellite). Canis Media has taken over the day-to-day management of the channel and is helping the owners to look at business options for the future including the sale of the EPG position, and the options for the business using the existing brand."
Separately, Sony Pictures Television has inked a deal in Australia with Yahoo!7, the joint venture between the Internet provider and commercial broadcaster Seven Network. Over 100 hours of Sony content including Larry Sanders Show, Dilbert and Just Shoot Me will be available on Yahoo!7's catch up service Plus7.
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