28 JUL 2020

UK'S SKY ARTS CHANNEL TO WILL BE FREE TO AIR

The channel will now have easier access to participation in the arts. To further support fresh talent, the channel will launch a series of bursaries worth £30,000 each.

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Sky has announced that Sky Arts is scheduled to be free of cost this September. The company intends to provide easier access to participation in the arts. “As a creative business, we believe it’s important to have a thriving cultural sector. By making Sky Arts free for everyone we want to give more artists and arts organizations a platform to create and share their work and to bring more art and culture to everyone across the UK,” Stephen van Rooyen, EVP and Chief Executive Officer, Sky UK and Europe said.

The move to become free-to-air will include a bold new slate of original programs and increased and deepened partnerships with artists and arts organizations, providing them with a platform to create and showcase their work. The Sky Arts On Demand library offers more than 2000 thousand hours of shows, will remain exclusive to Sky and NOW TV Entertainment Pass customers. To further support fresh talent, the channel will launch a series of bursaries worth £30,000 each.

The decision to provide the air channel free of cost derived from the company’s shift of focus toward bringing more art to the public and providing more support to artists, and creatives in general, available to view on Freeview. While the Sky Arts linear channel will be made free for everyone, the extensive Sky Arts On Demand library of art content, with more than 2000 thousand hours of shows, will remain exclusive to Sky and NOW TV Entertainment Pass customers.

According to Philip Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, the channel increased by 50%, and “Portrait Artist of The Week” reached 4.6 million people with over 20,000 portraits painted. “There’s never been a stronger need or demand for the arts, nor a more important time to champion and celebrate creativity,”  Philip Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, said.“That’s why we’re throwing open the doors to make Sky Arts a free channel.”

Some of the series included are “Portrait Artist of The Year,” “Landscape Artist of The Year,” “Tate Britain’s Great Art Walks,” “Treasures of the British Library,” “The South Bank Show,” “Urban Myths” and many other documentaries. “As a free to air channel I hope that Sky Arts can help arts organizations and cultural institutions of all shapes and sizes across the UK, providing them with a platform to create and showcase their work to a broad audience,”  Edgar-Jones said. 

“Portrait Artist of the Week,” a live-streamed paint-along version of the channel’s flagship series ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’, will return in the fall on @SkyTV Facebook and Sky Arts. “Portrait Artist of the Year” will return at the same time, with new celebrity sitters including Normal People’s Paul Mescal, First Dates front-of-house Fred Sirieux, singer Ray BLK and Sir Trevor McDonald.

 

As a creative business, we believe it’s important to have a thriving cultural sector. By making Sky Arts free for everyone we want to give more artists and arts organizations a platform to create and share their work and to bring more art and culture to everyone across the UK.” Stephen van Rooyen EVP and Chief Executive Officer, Sky UK and Europe