A+E Networks UK is to launch a new free-to-air entertainment channel in the UK later this year, after acquiring Freeview capacity in a long-term carriage deal with multiplex operator SDN.
The channel's name will be revealed during the summer, as will details of what the new channel will show, ahead of its planned launch this autumn.
A+E Networks UK is a joint venture between the US media giant A+E Networks and Sky. It will be the first UK free-to-air channel from the company, which already operates services including Lifetime, History, H2 and the Crime + Investigation channel on pay TV platforms.
SDN is a subsidary of ITV plc, and holds the licence to operate Freeview multiplex "COM4", which is currently configured to carry 16 simultaneous standard definition TV streams, with timeshare arrangements allowing just over 20 channels in total to be broadcast terrestrially by SDN. Channels including 5STAR, QUEST, CBS Reality and True Entertainment currently use SDN to reach Freeview homes.
Tim Cadbury, SDN's General Manager said:
“We are pleased to be welcoming A+E Networks to Freeview and look forward to continue working with them in the future as they develop their free-to-air offer."
Dean Possenniskie, A+E Networks Managing Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa said:
“We are thrilled to build on our strong UK business with the launch of a new A+E channel to the 20 million households on the Freeview platform.”