Sky changes on 1st February

Several changes to the Sky lineup will be taking place tomorrow, Tuesday 1st February.

Sky customers will find Living, Living HD, Living ROI, Living +1, Livingit, Livingit +1, Challenge and Challenge +1 off-air between approximately 2am and 4am. Sky advise “during this period, there will be brief outages and you will see a placeholder banner advising you that no programmes are being broadcast. You do not need to adjust your TV set or Sky box”. Virgin Media customers should be unaffected.

Channel One will cease broadcasting permanently at 6am on all TV platforms including Sky and Virgin Media (Channel One +1 will end an hour later at 7am). Channel One on Freeview will be replaced with Challenge.

All of the Living channels will be rebranded as Sky Living (Sky Living, Sky Livingit, etc).

Sky advise “HD customers will notice that some HD channels now have the same channel numbers as their standard definition counterparts”.

Sky Atlantic will launch at 9pm on Sky channel 108. A special pre-launch show advertising the launch of Sky Atlantic will air 8pm-9pm on Sky Atlantic, Sky 1, Sky 2, Living, Living it, Living Loves, Sky Arts 1 and Sky Arts 2.

Click here for the official “timeline of changes” page at Sky.com.

Sky

Sky Living and Sky Atlantic to launch 2011

Living will be rebranded as Sky Living from early 2011.

The name change will take place following Sky’s acquisition of the Living TV Group of channels from Virgin Media earlier this year (first resulting in the recent Virgin1 rebrand to Channel One – the channel which is now facing the axe in the coming months along with Bravo).

A new channel called Sky Atlantic will also launch early next year.

Sky Living will appear next to Sky1 on the Sky EPG on channel 107 and Sky Atlantic will appear next to it on channel 108. Sky Living and Sky Atlantic will both be available in HD as well.

The name change for Living will also take place on Virgin Media’s TV platform. It’s unknown whether Sky Atlantic will appear on Virgin Media’s TV service, but it’s likely that it will at some stage, if not from the initial launch.

The official press release from Sky says:

“Sky Living – Living, the home of programmes such as Britain’s Next Top Model, Four Weddings, Chuck and upcoming UK drama series Bedlam, was acquired by Sky from Virgin Media earlier this year. To build on the channel’s success as one of the UK’s leading pay TV channels, it will re-brand as Sky Living from early 2011 and benefit from a 25% increase in on-screen investment. It will move to a new slot of #107on the Sky EPG from its current position at #112”.

“Sky Atlantic – From early 2011, the brand new channel will provide an exclusive home to some of the most eagerly anticipated shows intelevision, including all of HBO’s new series such as the already critically acclaimed Boardwalk Empire and the forthcoming Game of Thrones, Luck and Tremé. Sky Atlantic will also be the exclusive home of Mad Men from 2011”.

Click here to read the Sky press release in full.

Sky

Bravo and Channel One to close

Bravo and Channel One will cease broadcasting on all platforms soon as Sky want to concentrate on their other channels.

Sky recently acquired Bravo, Virgin1, Living and the other channels in the Virgin Media TV group from Virgin Media. The group of channels is now known as the Living TV Group. Sky quickly renamed Virgin1 to Channel One as they didn’t buy the Virgin branding rights.

The Guardian reports “it was decided that Channel One [snip] was too similar to Sky3… BSkyB intends to “redeploy” the channels’ programming, with pay-TV shows moving to other Sky channels and free-to-air fare mostly moving to Sky3″.

Channel One will be replaced by Challenge on the Freeview platform.

Sky’s acquisition of the Virgin Media TV group of channels was cleared by The Office Of Fair Trading this week.

A precise date for the closure of Bravo and Channel One is yet to be announced.

Bravo and Channel One

Trouble removed – replaced with LIVING +2

Trouble has closed down on all TV platforms. Virgin Media Television have decided to remove the channel and replace it with a new LIVING channel which is expected to launch later this year. In the interim, LIVING +2 (a two-hour timeshift of the main LIVING channel) takes the space on Virgin Media channel 159, next to LIVING 2 +1 which can be found on channel 160.

Trouble to end 1st April

It has been confirmed on Broadcast Now’s website that Virgin Media-owned Trouble will close down on all platforms on the 1st April.

It will be replaced with a new LIVING channel later this year, which will give them three channels in the brand as well as the timeshift versions.

Trouble will be replaced with LIVING +2 in the interim (a two-hour timeshift version of the main LIVING channel) until the new LIVING channel launches.

In the Broadcast Now article, Virgin Media Television managing director Jonathan Webb says their “strategy this year is to consolidate our portfolio”.

LIVING 2 will also be overhauled later this year.