Sky Arts, the broadcaster's dedicated arts and culture channel, will become free for everyone in the UK from September.
At a time when we cannot go to live performances, the decision to make Sky Arts free to air is, Sky says, a move to support and champion the arts at a vital time for the cultural sector. It puts artists and creatives centre stage on a channel that everyone across the UK can watch on Freeview.
The move marks the first time Sky Arts programming will be available for everyone in the UK to watch. Shows include popular series such as 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 countless documentaries and performances, from Kylie, Ed Sheeran and U2, to Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Cats.
While the Sky Arts TV channel will be made free for everyone, the extensive Sky Arts library of on-demand content, which contains more than 2000 thousand hours of shows, will remain exclusive to Sky and Now TV Entertainment Pass customers.
Sky Arts will get new slate of original programmes as well as new partnerships with artists and arts organisations, providing them with a platform to create and showcase their work. To support new talent, the channel will launch a series of bursaries - worth £30,000 each - that will see leading figures from the arts support and mentor diverse and emerging new artists.
Stephen van Rooyen, EVP and chief executive officer at Sky UK, said: "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 organisations a platform to create and share their work and to bring more art and culture to everyone across the UK."