Sky Arts goes free to air
James R | On 22, Sep 2020
Sky Arts has officially gone free to air, bringing its mix of arts and culture programming to the nation at no cost.
“We believe that everyone should have access to the arts and that the more people you encourage to participate, the better the world becomes. That’s why this September, we are making Sky Arts free for everyone to watch,” said Philip Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, earlier this year.
The result is the only space on terrestrial TV dedicated solely to arts and culture, making it more accessible to everyone and helping to foster empathy, engagement and diversity in society. It comes at a time when the creative industries, which contribute nearly £112 billion to the UK economy, are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic and need to be put in the spotlight more than ever.
To support new talent, the channel will launch a series of bursaries worth £30,000 each, that will see leading figures from the arts support and mentor emerging new artists. The channel has also commissioned a range of new programming, including BOYS, a short film directed by Ashley Walters, Offended, a new documentary from Irvine Welsh, Sky Arts Book Club Live, hosted by Andi Oliver and Elizabeth Day and streaming on Facebook Live as well as on the TV, and Charles Hazlewood: Beethoven and Me.
They join a line-up that includes Sky Arts Late, Brian Johnson Meets Dave Grohl, Guy Garvey: From the Vaults, Urban Myths, Danny Dyer on Harold Pinter, Life and Rhymes, No Masks, Portrait Artist of the Year & Portrait Artist of the Week, The South Bank Show, Boswell & Johnson’s Scottish Road Trip with Frank Skinner and Denise Mina and many more.
Sky Arts is now available to watch on Freeview and Freesat on channel numbers 11 and 147 (Pick has been bumped to channel number 34). While the Sky Arts linear channel is now free for everyone, however, the Sky Arts On Demand library of arts content, comprising more than 2,000 hours of shows, remains exclusive to Sky customers or subscribers to a NOW Entertainment Membership.