Film 24 (channel)
|Closed||4 April 2011|
|Picture format||576i (4:3, SDTV)|
|Audience share||0.0% (December 2010, BARB)|
|Replaced by||Sony Entertainment Television|
(at time of closure)
|Eutelsat 28A||11585H 27500 2/3|
Film24 was a British production company and television channel, available on Sky channel 157.
The channel averaged around 170,000 viewers a week, for the first five months of 2010, before the channel entered liquidation, it averaged 800,000.
In the latter half of 2009, Film24 brought in a new programming strategy, focusing on acquiring programmes. This new direction saw an increase in celebrity programming, demonstrating the Hollywood lifestyle, and reality television shows. Comedy programming also became a prime-time acquisition, with The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman, Hopeless Pictures, Sordid Lives: The Series and The King of Miami all premiering and exclusively showing in the UK on Film24. It completed several major acquisitions deals with a number of UK and International Broadcasters and producers.
Film24 also showed awards shows, with the 43rd Country Music Association Awards airing in 2009, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards airing in 2010. The Screen Actors Guild Awards were transmitted live in the UK.
In September 2009, Film24 commissioned Starstruck Media to relaunch flagship programme Film Xtra. Originally, thirteen 15 minute programmes were agreed, but the programme was soon made into a half hour feature, and continued to look at new cinema releases, home entertainment releases, and news from the world of film. The programme is presented by former CBBC and Top of the Pops presenter, Adrian Dickson. A spin-off series, that was broadcast post the 9 p.m. watershed - FXU, started in January 2010, presented by Tim Fornara.
Also in September, Film24 acquired the rights to computer games shows Playr and Playr Guides.
In Spring 2008, on line community X-taster  were commissioned to provide Film24's online offering. Following five failed attempts, numerous delays, and a serious split in Xtasters founding management team, in October 2009, Film24.com relaunched, making the channel theoretically interactive for web users. The cost and perceived waste of a significant amount of the companies resources caused consternation to some of the companies shareholders. Despite the initial agreement the website mainly provided details of the schedule and programming, as well as the latest cinema releases and limited film news. The planned community offering, which was sold to shareholders never materialised, and hits on the website were extremely low. The site, generally considered by most to be a failure, was attempting unsuccessfully, to launch a video-on-demand service, with a view to showing full-length episodes and films in the UK and Ireland, before the channel entered liquidation.
In November 2009, Film24 also started airing US and UK dramas, including Queen of Swords, The Flockton Flyer, Adventure Inc, 18 Wheels of Justice, Freewheelers, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, The Big Valley, Dick Barton, Take a Letter, Mr. Jones and That Beryl Marston.
In December 2009, Film24 announced plans to significantly increase its spend on new programmes.
In April 2010, Film24 announced that it had acquired a brand new Hollywood chat show In The House. The programme will feature major celebrities live in the studio including Morgan Freeman, Kathryn Bigelow, Quentin Tarantino, Sigourney Weaver, Harrison Ford and Jeff Bridges to name but a few.
From June 2010, the channel simulcast programming from the Psychic Channel, as well as countless hours of Teleshopping.
The channel's principal shareholder was Lord Swaraj Paul's Caparo Group. In May 2010, Angad Paul (CEO of Caparo Group) withdrew further funding,without any notice, following serious financial problems at Caparo, forcing the channel into liquidation.
On 22 June 2010, Canis Media announced that it was reviewing options for the potential sale of Film24. The company, which acquires and sells electronic programming guide slots on the Sky satellite platform, said that it had taken over "day-to-day management" of the Film24 channel. Options included a straight sale of the channel 157 slot on Sky’s EPG, a sale of the channel itself, a joint venture with a new owner, or a rescue package with new investors.
On 7 September 2010, Canis Media announced that the sale of Film24 is "near to completion" and the new owner would be unveiled shortly. On 28 October 2010, it was reported that Sony Pictures Television were on the brink of a deal to buy Film24's Sky EPG slot to launch their first UK channel.
On 19 November 2010, Sony Pictures Television acquired Film24's slot on Sky's electronic programming guide. Canis Media continued to work on the channel's day-to-day management until 4 April 2011, ahead of Sony Pictures Television's launch of Sony Entertainment Television on 7 April 2011.
- "Caparo admits to 'broken banking limits'". This is Money. 4 July 2010.
- "Labour peer faces trouble at Caparo". Daily Mail. 5 July 2010.
- "Canis handling Film24 Sky channel sale". Digital Spy. 22 June 2010.
- "Film24 operators call in Canis Media". Broadcast. 22 June 2010.
- "Film24 sale 'near to completion'". Digital Spy. 7 September 2010.
- "Sony set for Sky EPG slot in move into UK market". Broadcast. 28 October 2010.
- "Sony launching first UK channel". Television Business International. 29 October 2010.
- "Sony acquires Film24's Sky EPG slot". Digital Spy. 19 November 2010.
- "Sony to launch UK channel". Broadband TV News. 8 March 2011.