Tony Blackburn debuts new That’s 60s music channel for UK

Nostalgic programming-focused media outfit That’s Media Group is launching a new channel for the UK dedicated to music from the 1960s.

‘60s DJ Tony Blackburn will present the first show on the new channel, That’s 60s, when it launches today at 18:00 UK time.  Blackburn has chosen Flowers in the Rain by The Move as the first song to be played on That’s 60s in a nod to his historic first Radio 1 show, where Flowers in the Rain was the first single played on the station.

That’s 60s will broadcast across the UK on Freeview channel 75, Sky channel 366 and Freesat channel 506. The new channel is taking over the national Freeview capacity previously allocated to Smithsonian, the documentary channel, which ended broadcasts this week. That’s 60s will be funded by commercial advertising.

The new channel is being launched as a sister service to archive TV channel That’s TV which also broadcasts nationally.

That’s Media will continue to broadcast That’s TV on Freeview channel 65, Sky channel 183 and Freesat channel 178. That’s TV also broadcasts in 20 regions of the UK on Freeview channel 7 or 8. The network claims to be regularly watched by around four million viewers per month, based on BARB data.

“We’re excited to be able to showcase some of the greatest bands in pop history. That’s 60s will tap into the 60s spirit with performances of the songs which we all grew up listening to. There was a real sense of hope and idealism in the 60s which is infectious when you watch the acts of the time. Many of these performances are of real historic interest, reflecting the 60s pop revolution. For those who were there, this is a chance to reminisce about their favourite acts and relive a time when love was in the air and flowers in the hair,” said That’s 60’s head of programming, Kris Vaiksalu.

“We secured some of our highest ever ratings when we played 60s music on That’s TV last year and it made us realise that there’s a need to launch a dedicated 60s channel. So many other TV services seem to be targeting younger and younger audiences. We are proud to unashamedly do the opposite and launch That’s 60s as a new national TV channel particularly focused on super-serving the silver generation.”

Tony Blackburn, who celebrates his 80th birthday later this month, said: “I loved the 60s because I was young and I was having a ball. I was a singer in a dance band in Bournemouth, then I went on to be a DJ on Radio Caroline, Big L Radio London and Radio Luxembourg and I opened up Radio 1. On That’s 60s I’ll be playing some of the wonderful music we had and talking all about it. I mean it’s the 60s – what more could you ask! It’s the best decade ever!”

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