Sky Arts channel to become free-to-air on Freeview from September

(Image credit: Sky Arts / Sky)

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."


19 of the best live streams and online virtual concerts

Best streaming services for TV and movies 2020

How to watch Hamilton online: stream the hit musical on Disney Plus

Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds. 

  • What Hi-Fi? said:
    Sky Arts programming will be available on Freeview, including performances from Ed Sheeran and U2, to Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Cats.

    Sky Arts to become a free to air channel in UK from September : Read more
    Good news!
  • abacus
    Sky Arts is one of the channels in the NowTV Entertainment Package, and guess what, the Entertainment Package goes up by £1 in September. (Look out Sky customers as what happens on NowTV usually ends up the same on Sky as well)