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Lifetime HD axed on Sky

A+E Networks UK has pulled the HD version of the female-skewing lifestyle and entertainment channel Lifetime.

Sky viewers will now only be able to access the standard definition version of the channel, which appears on channel 164. Until Thursday 24th January 2019, the HD channel will temporarily reside on channel 838 before disappear altogether.

TVPlayer, Virgin Media UK and BT TV continue to promote an HD option for the channel.

As a result of the downgrade, Sky viewers who had set recordings for Lifetime HD will find that the recordings will fail. They will need to be reset to the standard definition service.

Lifetime UK first launched in 2013 and is controlled by A+E Networks UK, a joint venture between Sky and US media company A+E Networks; sister channels include History and Crime+Investigation. In 2016, the company launched its first free-to-air channel, Blaze.

Lifetime UK currently provides another outlet for the omnipresent Judge Judy as well as Storage Wars and Pawn Stars, which are already available widely on sister channels, alongside some unique material, including reality shows and made for TV movies. In its current form, the HD version is seen by some in the industry as not adding as much value to the overall pay TV offering compared to other pay TV HD channels. With the cost of broadcast rights increasing, Sky has been carefully monitoring its pay TV portfolio, allowing some channels to drop out, close or go free-to-air - the latter is not seen as an option for most HD channels. Last year, Vice lost its HD channel on Sky.