Channel 5 is set to scrap their 24 hour time-shift service (Channel 5+24) and will launch My5, the brand of company’s on-demand service, as a linear free-to-air channel in its place.
As a free-to-air channel, My5 will serve as a supplement to Channel 5’s on-demand service of the same name and will take content from the VOD portal, which houses content from Channel 5’s portfolio of channels (Channel 5, 5Star, 5USA and Spike UK).
The new channel is designed to be “fast reacting, topical and relevant” and will feature recent programmes across all platforms, catch up TV, box sets, themed schedules and programming curated around talent or themes. The schedule will be synchronised with the My5 VOD service and the hope is that the channel will further the reach of a number of programmes from across the Channel 5 portfolio. The channel will launch in August and will be available on a number of platforms, including Freeview, Freesat, Sky TV, Virgin Media, YouView, BT and TalkTalk.
Launching My5 as a linear channel is the latest signal of the death of time-shift channels, which have, by and large, lost their importance in the on-demand age. It also comes months after the VOD service rebranded from Demand 5 to My5 as part of a company wide re-brand following the Viacom buy out. Year-to-date My5, which Channel 5 said was the most widely distributed commercial broadcaster video-on-demand service in the UK, has grown by nearly 50%, with 1 million people registering to use the service.
“Taking My5 into the linear space is an exciting development following the success of our video-on-demand service, which has enjoyed rapid growth since rebranding in February”, said James Tatam, Channel 5’s Director of Digital Media & Commercial Development. “Through a mix of sharp and responsive scheduling, curated and thematic content, and data from our TV channels, on-demand platform and social media, viewers can now discover the most popular content on My5 via both TV and on-demand and choose how they want to watch.”