Satellite news 24.07.06


MTV set to start new video sharing TV channel

MTV is poised to cash in on the Internet craze for video swapping by launching a 'community channel' on Sky Digital this week where viewers will contribute the content. MTV, which celebrates its 25 anniversary next month, says the new TV channel will concentrate on footage supplied by viewers and they will dictate much of what appears on it. Matthew Kershaw, head of interactive at MTV, said: "We are like the Madonna of TV, always re-inventing ourselves. We have got a long history of using users in programmes and we are trying to inject as much user-generated stuff as we can."

Pride TV announces November launch

An entertainment TV channel catering for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders is set to launch on Sky Digital this winter. Called Pride TV, it launch in November and will broadcast entertainment and hard-hitting documentaries alongside drama, lifestyle, music, film and late night erotic shows. A third of its programming will be produced in-house and the channel will be on air 10 hours a day.

ITV Play launches on Sky Digital this week

ITV Play is set to launch on Sky Digital channel 856 this week. The new gaming channel launched on other TV platforms in April and is now ready for its satellite launch. Charles Allen, Chief Executive of ITV said: "We believe that ITV Play has enormous potential to lead the market for participation TV with higher production values, better programmes and bigger prizes."

Sky launches free broadband service

Sky has unveiled details of its new broadband internet access service, Sky Broadband, which provides free broadband with up to 2Mb download speed for Sky TV customers, whatever TV package they take. The service offers three different broadband products, Sky Broadband Base, Mid and Max. The products range from a free service offering download speeds of up to 2Mb to a connection of up to 16Mb for Ł10 a month.

PIN-protected films hours set to be extended

ASky has announced that the broadcast hours of its PIN-protected film channels will be extended from this autumn. The new hours, which will be introduced on September 1st, will be 11am until 3am covering Sky Movies 9 and Sky Movies 10, Sky Movies 9 HD and Sky Movies 10 HD. Currently, the protected hours are daily between 5pm and 3am.

Castaway set to return to BBC screens

Castaway, the reality series that made it on to BBC screens before the phenomenon of Channel 4's Big Brother, is set to return five years after its first broadcast. The new series will follow a group of people as they establish a new community in a remote location but with added twists this time. Each episode will be broadcast live from an undisclosed exotic location. The new series will be screened on BBC1 and BBC3 plus on interactive services.

Digital TV news in brief...

Film4 Weekly has been removed from Sky Digital channel 317... On Sky channel 844, the Poker Channel is now called All in Sport... Five has acquired both digital and free TV rights to Warner Bros ******* thriller The Nine.

TV regulator publishes probe into Sky One ad

TV regulators at Ofcom have just published the findings of their investigation into four complaints from viewers who felt the trails for Sky One's Project Catwalk series, which showed a pair of scissors flying through the air towards a tailor’s dummy and becoming lodged in it, were inappropriate. Some felt children could be encouraged to imitate the scenario, said the viewers. Sky said that it did not believe the trail amounted to dangerous behaviour which could be easily imitable by children. It was clearly a promotion for a programme and was filmed against a stark white background, it said. There was no suggestion that the scissors had been thrown by anyone and the scissors were much larger than normal and this, together with the stylised nature of the sequence, would have made it evident that this was a fantastical scenario. Ofcom said: "We noted and accepted Sky's contentions that the scissors are not seen being thrown, and that their flight is not always consistent with having been thrown. They may also at times seem to be unrealistically large (though they are seen to be normal size by the time they pierce the tailor's dummy). As with stylisation, these points are relevant to how the trailer will have been interpreted by adults and older children. However, we did not think that younger children, in the 4-9 year range, will have made these kinds of relatively sophisticated judgement, and concluded that the portrayal was of a potentially dangerous act, with this age group. Transmission at times when they will have been viewing in large numbers - as between Malcolm in the Middle and The Simpsons - therefore contravened the Code."