In the latest shake-up to its TV guide, Sky has announced it will soon be retiring its beloved, long-running channel, Sky One and replacing it with two new channels: Sky Showcase and Sky Max.
Plus, it will also be making NBC's Peacock streaming service available for free to all Sky customers. Jump to that story first.
Sky Showcase will technically be Sky One’s replacement, but it will have a different schedule of programs. It will focus on showcasing Sky’s top shows from across all of its entertainment channels. These include Sky Witness, Sky Comedy, Sky Documentaries, Sky History and more.
This will be similar to Sky Sports Main Event (401), its top sports channel that highlights the biggest competitions each week. So rather than a dedicated channel for new or original content, Sky Showcase will also take a ‘main event’ role.
It will also occasionally broadcast content from Sky Sports and its other paid add-on subscription, Sky Cinema. So if you’re not paying for these services, you’ll still be able to watch the odd programme from them on Sky Showcase.
Sky Max will now be the destination for a lot of Sky One’s existing programming, including favourites like COBRA and A League of Their Own. It will also be the home of new Sky originals like the anticipated return of Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
Sky Comedy (114) will also be revamped to include all of Sky One’s comedy series, including originals like Code 404 and US comedy shows like The Office US.
Sky Atlantic’s programming will remain unchanged, and currently none of its shows will be available on Sky Showcase. So you’ll have to keep visiting channel 108 to enjoy Sky’s hard-hitting dramas, as well as content from HBO and Showtime.
The update will be made on 1 September, where Sky Showcase will launch on Sky One’s legacy channel 106, and Sky Max will take up channel 113. It will be free of charge for Sky customers, and the new channels will also be on its streaming service NOW.
Virgin and BT’s TV services will also get the updated channels on the same date.
One of the largest US-based streaming platforms, Peacock, will soon be available to Sky and NOW customers completely free of charge.
This will be the first time the NBC service, which hosts modern TV classics such as Parks and Recreation, The Office US, Suits and Downton Abbey, can be watched in the UK.
The programming will be ad-supported, and can be accessed through both Sky Q and NOW Entertainment memberships.
Over 7,000 hours of TV will be available to watch through Peacock initially, with expansions to its catalogue expected in the coming months. This includes Peacock Originals and a number of NBCUniversal's much-loved blockbuster movies.
Group chief executive officer of Sky, Dana Strong, commented on the UK launch:
“Peacock will be a great addition for Sky customers with over 7,000 hours of content at no additional cost. This exceptional value add is another example of the great ways we are innovating to bring more benefits to our customers from the synergies across Sky, NBCUniversal, and Comcast Cable.”
Sky and NBC are yet to disclose a date for Peacock's arrival in the UK, but we've been assured it's "later this year".
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