Channel 5, the British commercial broadcaster owned by Viacom, has an unusual plan for boosting the number of people using its online video service — launching a TV channel.
Channel 5 wants to get My5 TV on air as early as next month and a source with knowledge of the launch said it will showcase the best of the broadcaster’s video-on-demand service, My5.
This means it will signpost how people can watch Channel 5’s biggest shows online and encourage them to sign-up to receive more personalised viewing recommendations. It is a unique idea, which has not been attempted by any other broadcaster in the UK.
The channel will replace 5+24, which simply repeats Channel 5’s schedule on a 24-hour time delay, and will be carefully curated by a channel manager — a role the broadcaster is currently recruiting for.
A Channel 5 spokesman declined to comment, but the broadcaster is expected to announce the service imminently. It may characterise My5 TV as more of an evolution of 5+24 rather than a new channel, but to an average viewer it will look like a new service.
The aim is that My5 TV builds on topical moments on Channel 5 and its sister stations 5Star, 5USA, and Spike. This could mean more opportunities to watch shows including the UK’s version of “Lip Sync Battle,” “Big Brother,” and high-profile US drama acquisitions, such as Fox’s “The X Files.”
Business Insider’s source said My5 TV could be compared to 4seven, a similar channel owned by Channel 5’s rival commercial broadcaster Channel 4. 4seven repeats the most popular and talked-about Channel 4 shows of the week in a specially curated schedule, but My5 TV will go beyond this and promote shows and box sets from over a longer period of time.
My5 TV will also have a “modest” content budget for commissions and acquisitions, according to our TV insider. This means it could order original shows to complement the other content it pulls in from My5.
When My5 TV does replace 5+24, it will be available on slot 55 on Freeview and 175 on Sky television. The highest-rated programme on 5+24 in 2016 so far has been film “Olympus Has Fallen,” which pulled in an audience of 250,000 in April. “Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away” was the best original show, with 126,000 viewers last month.
Viacom acquired Channel 5 from British media mogul Richard Desmond for £463 million (£612 million) in 2014. The company’s latest earnings showed that its revenue stood at £322.7 million (£426 million) in the year to September 2015, helping deliver an operating profit of £21 million (£28 million).
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