Since the beginning of May, Channel 4 has been offering Lost from its broadband site for audiences in the UK. Channel 4 made a deal to do this with Disney/ABC earlier in the year. Following this successful offering, Channel 4 plans to expand its video broadband services, offering films and older television series this autumn.
The UK's male-targeted Bravo channel has announced its first advertiser-funded programming commission, partnering with the British Army. The documentary series Everest: Man Versus Mountain, will screen the British Army's attempt on the summit of Mount Everest via the West Ridge - the mountain's most notoriously difficult route.. Keo Films has been commissioned by Bravo to produce the documentary, in five 30-minute episodes to launch in prime-time this autumn. Ten second branded idents will top and tail each episode Each episode will be topped and tailed with 10-second branded idents, also produced by Keo Films, promoting the British Army.
Channel 4 and Pact have reached agreement on new media rights after months of negotiation. The broadcaster will now have a 30-day exclusive window in which to exploit its programmes via all platforms. The deal will allow C4 to launch video-on-demand channels this autumn, with exclusive rights to distribute programmes via VOD for 30 days from the programme's first transmission on C4. VOD will be available on a free, pay per view or subscription basis.
UK independent producers will for the first time have a major presence at this year's Mipcom in Cannes - one of the world's largest TV and audiovisual markets, with a UK pavilion housing up to 35 companies under one banner.
The UK pavilion has been organised by Pact, the trade body for independent TV and film producers and has been funded by a partnership of industry stakeholders from across the UK. The launch of the Pavilion represents the culmination of a yearlong fund raising campaign undertaken by Pact with the support of Government body UK Trade and Investment.
According to the latest figures from OFCOM, Digital Terrestrial TV through the Freeview service, has overtaken analogue terrestrial in the UK for the first time. The numbers bring the total percentage of the UK population watching digital TV in some form (terrestrial, cable or satellite) to 72.5%, one of the highest levels in the world.
Almost 7.1m households now watch TV using Freeview on their main set with just 6.4m homes still depending on an analogue TV signal. Sky meanwhile has 7.7m subscribers, 3.3m watch cable TV and 645,000 use free-to-view satellite services. The figures should give some comfort to culture minister Tessa Jowell who is aiming to turn of analogue broadcasts in 2012, and phase out signals from 2008. The question now is what will happen to the spare spectrum, with some expecting the government to sell it off to the highest bidder, and others pushing for it to be used for a big increase in local TV.
British TV police drama The Bill is heading for Romania to film ground-breaking episodes on the misery of human trafficking. The programme's researchers have spent weeks in the Romanian capital of Bucharest with setting up action-packed scenes with local TV crew.
Channel 4 has unveiled its summer line-up and entertainment schedules will be bolstered with the arrival of Friday night programme Whatever, as 12 young people -- with no experience of TV production -- conjure up their own series with complete creative freedom.
UK TV viewers can now watch African movies on a 24-hour basis. Lola Onigbogi, director of the newly launched African Movie Channel, says there is an "endless" market for African productions in Britain, in particular among African immigrants. Most of the films available on-demand are "Nollywood" productions, from Nigeria's booming movie industry.
Channel 4 is gearing up to provide a video on demand (VOD) service featuring UK commissioned programmes, but only after the long-running new media rights dispute with Pact has been resolved.
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