My5: Channel 5 to launch linear channel based on its VOD service
James R | On 24, Jul 2016
Channel 5 is turning its on-demand service, My5, into an accompanying linear channel.
The catch-up site replaced Demand5 earlier this year, as part of a rebrand of the whole Channel 5 network. With its range of content from Channel 5, 5STAR and 5USA available, alongside shows from Spike, the service has grown by almost 50 per cent in the last year, notes TV Wise, with 1 million people signing up to use the service.
Now, Channel 5 is building on that success with a new free-to-air linear channel. The step sounds like a bizarre step backwards in an increasingly online age, but it also marks a minor step forwards for the broadcaster: the My5 channel will replace its old time-shift channel, Channel 5+24, which used to show Channel 5’s content on a 24-hour delay. Last year, the BBC Trust refused the BBC’s proposals to launch a new time-shift +1 channel for BBC One on the grounds that it didn’t offer public value.
The new channel is intended to be “fast reacting, topical and relevant”, showcasing content from all of Channel 5’s portfolio, joining the VOD service in expanding the reach of its ever-expanding portfolio of exclusive shows, such as The X-Files, The Wolfman, The Shannara Chronicles and The Magicians.
James Tatam, director of digital media and commercial development at Channel 5, said in a statement: “Taking My5 into the linear space is an exciting development following the success of our video-on-demand service, which has enjoyed rapid growth since rebranding in February. Through a mix of sharp and responsive scheduling, curated and thematic content, and data from our TV channels, on-demand platform and social media, viewers can now discover the most popular content on My5 via both TV and on-demand and choose how they want to watch.”
My5 the channel will launch in August 2016 and will be available on Freeview, Freesat, Sky, Virgin Media, BT TV, TalkTalk TV and other platforms.