UK satellite channel launches drop

The number of new channel launches on satellite in the UK has dropped sharply this year, according to a report by Information TV, which broadcasts channels Information TV, Showcase TV, Showcase 2 (which provide shared capacity for new part-time channels) and Russia Today on BSkyB’s platform.

According to the company, 164 new satellite channels have launched in the UK over the past three years, while 227 digital satellite channels have ceased broadcasting over the same period. However, the number of new channels dropped from 72 launches overall in 2009 to 24 in the first half this year as a result of Sky’s exclusion of new standard-definition channels for the next 12 months, leaving existing and new broadcasters with the option of finding and trading capacity left vacant by failed services.

Of the 24 services to launch so far this year, 60% were HD versions of existing channels, according to Information TV.

According to the report, since 2007, 22% of gaming and dating channels have failed during their first year, followed by 18% of lifestyle and culture channels and 12% of entertainment channels.