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Turner sells TruTV UK to Sony

Sony Pictures Television has taken over TruTV UK, the reality TV channel launched by Turner Broadcasting in 2014.

The official announcement came 24 hours after TruTV UK's satellite feed was suddenly switched to Sony Pictures Television's satellite transponder, replacing True Crime+1.

The deal sees Sony Pictures Television take a selection of the existing TruTV UK content library, including acquired series Snapped, Paranormal Survivor and Ink Master. Some of TruTV UK's programmes overlap considerably with Sony's existing crime reality channel True Crime, meaning the long-term outlook for the TruTV UK remains uncertain. However, it does mean Sony has secured another nationwide Freeview slot which it is now free to exploit, given that some Sony channels on Freeview only have limited UK coverage.

Originally launched with a variety of programming including Conan O'Brien's late night US talk show, the channel soon settled into a staple of reality and crime programming, but faced stiff competition from True Crime, YourTV and CBS Reality - all showing the same type of programming, and at times different episodes of the same programme. That market is due to get even more competitive, with the arrival of Quest Red, Discovery's new Freeview channel, launching next month.

Turner Broadcasting had previously indicated it wasn't happy with the channel's ratings and performance. Late last year it was reported that Turner was looking to either close or sell the channel. But today, Ian McDonough, the company’s senior VP and MD of Northern Europe swept aside all of that saying:
“Since launch, TruTV has delivered solid ratings and ad sales and built a loyal fanbase. As such, we are delighted that UK viewers can continue to enjoy TruTV’s unique blend of entertainment as part of Sony’s portfolio."