Sky and A+E team up to launch Sky History channel
Staff Reporter | On 29, Feb 2020
A+E Networks UK and Sky are teaming up to launch Sky History this spring.
The co-branded channel, effectively renaming A+E’s HISTORY, builds on a 25-year relationship between the two broadcasters, and also reinforces Sky’s ongoing strategy of grouping its content through explicit, genre-themed channels, such as Sky Crime, Sky Comedy, Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature – a clearer way in an increasingly competitive marketplace to highlight to viewers what programming is available.
Sky HISTORY is the flagship brand of the A+E Networks UK family of channels: Crime+Investigation®, Sky HISTORY2 (formerly HISTORY2), Lifetime® and free-to-air channel BLAZE. A+E Networks UK channel HISTORY, which will become Sky HISTORY, enjoyed a highly successful 2019, with audience share up by 11 per cent. The foundation of this growth is the success of long-running franchises like Curse of Oak Island and new hit series such as UnXplained with William Shatner. There has also been greater investment in local commissions, including innovative talent-led UK programming; Damian Lewis: Spy Wars, James Nesbitt: Disasters That Changed Britain and Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the English, which was awarded the Gamechanger Programme of the Year prize at the 2019 Broadcast Digital Awards.
Building on the success of 2019, Sky HISTORY will have further investment in locally commissioned original programming in 2020 and beyond. The additional titles will showcase premium factual series and specials delivered by a range of UK production companies, while the channel will still be managed and operated by the A+E Networks UK team from their Hammersmith offices.
The channel will be available on linear TV and on demand in the UK and Ireland and will also be available on streaming service NOW TV for the first time.
Non-Sky customers need not worry, however: all channels will continue to broadcast on Sky, Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk.
“We are delighted to be deepening our partnership with Sky,” says Dean Possenniskie, Managing Director of A+E Networks UK. “It is exciting to be taking the HISTORY brand to a new level in the U.K. with greater commissioning investment and broader reach. Our joint venture with Sky has been a long-standing success—this innovative brand partnership further strengthens its future.”
Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content at Sky, said: “The launch of Sky HISTORY will build on our existing channel portfolio and complement new channel brands Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature, which will also be coming in Spring 2020. The continuation of our strong partnership with A+E Networks UK will mean more investment in premium original content and make it easier for our customers to find the shows they want to watch.”