Sky and Channel 4 expand partnership

British Grand Prix stays on Channel 4 starting grid.

by Andy Bassett
Movies & TV News

Sky and Channel 4 expand partnership

Sky and Channel 4 have announced a broadening of the agreement they entered into a year ago.

Seen as a response to the changing face of broadcasting, the two UK broadcasters (though Sky is owned by US telecommunications conglomerate Comcast) are expanding their strategic arrangement on both the content and technological fronts.

The multi-year deal will see the British Grand Prix and Formula 1 highlights continue on Channel 4, as well as the public broadcaster starting to use Sky’s AdSmart technology. There will be a greater number of Channel 4 box-sets being made available to Sky and NOW TV customers, and there’s a commitment from both sides to continue exploring technological innovation for the benefit of viewers and the broader industry.

AdSmart will be used on Channel 4’s linear channels (including UKTV and BT Sport) for the first time and will deliver targeted, addressable advertising to both Sky and Virgin Media households. This technology enables a huge number of demographic, location, interest and lifestyle attributes to be combined to produce targeted campaigns delivered to different households viewing the same programme.

Research has shown Sky’s introduction of AdSmart returns more attentiveness and less channel switching when adverts are delivered this way and it is available on ‘AdSmartable’ channels including all Sky, Channel 4 and Channel 5’s portfolio of channels as well as Discovery, MTV, Comedy Central, E!, FOX and many more.

The transmission rights for Formula One racing were reportedly at the centre of the discussions and Channel 4 retains the live transmission rights to the British Grand Prix as well as the racing season’s highlights.

The two broadcasters recently shared rights to the Cricket World Cup which saw England take the title on home soil and enabled millions to share the experience, reiterating the power of event TV.

Beyond the continued sporting events, the multi-year content deal means Sky and NOW TV will get to experience even more up-front box-sets from Channel 4 before they are actually broadcast.

Sky customers will also have access to Channel 4’s All 4 VOD service via ‘All 4 Exclusive’ programming.

Alex Mahon, Chief Executive, Channel 4 said, “This landmark new partnership with Sky is a fantastic example of how broadcasters can work together to extend the reach of our content and innovate for the benefit of both viewers and advertisers.”

Stephen van Rooyen, CEO UK and Ireland, Sky commented, “We’ve long thought that collaboration benefits both consumers and the industry - today’s news does exactly that. Together, Sky and Channel 4 will connect their viewers to more of the content they love, while bringing brands better ways to reach audiences. We look forward to working even more closely with Channel 4 and, we hope, other British broadcasters to bring more innovation and content to consumers over the coming years.”

Source: Press release
Image Source: Broadband TV News
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