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Sky Arts to become free-to-air channel, launch on Freeview

Sky Arts to become free-to-air channel, launch on Freeview
© Sky
Sky is to make Sky Arts a free-to-air service from September, also launching the channel on Freeview.

Sky has announced that Sky Arts will become a free-to-air service in the UK from September.

The broadcaster hopes that the move will provide a much-needed boost for the creative community in the wake of the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The channel will become available to all Sky customers and will launch nationwide on Freeview for the first time, although its on-demand library will remain exclusive to pay TV customers.

"There's never been a stronger need or demand for the arts, nor a more important time to champion and celebrate creativity," said Sky Arts director Phil Edgar-Jones.

"That's why we're throwing open the doors to make Sky Arts a free channel. During lockdown we've seen audiences to the channel increase by 50% and our weekly live paint-along show, Portrait Artist Of The Week, reached 4.6 million people with over 20,000 portraits painted.

"As a free to air channel I hope that Sky Arts can help arts organisations 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."

As part of the announcement Sky Arts also confirmed a new series of Portrait Artist of the Year featuring guests Fred Sirieux of First Dates and Normal People's Paul Mescal.


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Paul Mescal in Normal People
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