Sky goes to back of music channel EPG



Sky has avoided a massive row over the positioning of its new music channel brands – Scuzz, The Amp and Gloss – on its electronic programme guide by confirming that the new channels will go to the back of the queue on the listing system.

Music broadcasters Viacom and Emap were concerned about Sky’s plans for placement of the new channel launches, which are expected to go live in April.

Viacom, which owns the MTV and VH1 channels, and Emap, which houses brands such as Kiss, Smash! Hits and Kerrang! TV, were worried that Sky, which owns the Sky Digital platform as well as the new and existing channels, would place the new music launches at the top of the music EPG listings ahead of all of the existing music channels.

“Sky will play any card that it can to make the most of its new channels,” said one insider.

But sources at Sky, which over the past few months has failed to confirm its plans for the positioning of the new channels on the EPG, said this week
that, contrary to speculation that it might leapfrog rival broadcasters to the top of the music section, Scuzz, Gloss and The Amp would, in fact, be placed at the bottom of the music EPG.

“Under the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory rules governing the EPG, the position of channels is in order of launch date,” said a Sky spokesman.

There are three unfilled channel slots above MTV on channel 440 on the Sky EPG and industry watchers suspected Sky might slot its three new music launches into numbers 437, 438 and 439 – ahead of MTV and other rivals.

However, the Sky spokesman said it was planned those channels would house new sports launches as and when they hit the airwaves.

The position of a channel on the EPG is a strong factor in determining its viewing figures and channels left out of high traffic areas risk missing out on precious eyeballs.

Source Media Week.


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Hmmm.....interesting that Net1. I also saw that Sky are trying to get MTV to lower the price for their channels.