A+E Networks and Sky have announced a new joint venture channel Sky History.
The new channel will replace A+E Networks’ UK channel History in Spring 2020, a statement from the broadcaster said.
Sky History will continue to be operated by A+E Networks, and serves as its flagship brand alongside Crime+Investigation, Sky History2 (formerly History2), Lifetime and free-to-air channel Blaze. All channels will continue to broadcast on Sky, Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk.
A+E said that History “enjoyed a highly successful 2019” with its audience share growing by 11%. The network attributes this success to the return of existing series like Curse of Oak Island along with new shows such as UnXplained with William Shatner and a focus on local commissions. Original British shows broadcast by the channel include Damian Lewis: Spy Wars, James Nesbitt: Disasters That Changed Britain and Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the English.
The company noted that the rebrand will “build on the success of 2019” and have further investment in locally commissioned original programming, with additional titles showcasing “premium factual series and specials delivered by a range of UK production companies.”
Dean Possenniskie, managing director of A+E Networks UK, said: “We are delighted to be deepening our partnership with Sky. 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.”
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