Channel 4 to relaunch FilmFour as free-to-air
Channel 4 is to launch the UK's first free movie channel, offering a selection of British and foreign language films as well as the best of Hollywood.
From July, the broadcaster will make its subscription channel FilmFour free to all digital television viewers. It estimates the channel will reach 18 million homes by the end of the year. The free film channel will pose a fresh threat to Sky, providing its biggest rival, Freeview, with the movie offering it has so far lacked.
It will offer an upmarket slate of movies and there will also be themed seasons. Channel 4, which pumps £10m a year into making films, will showcase its own productions on the channel.
Only 300,000 people subscribe to FilmFour, which costs up to £7 a month. The relaunched channel will go on air from 3pm to 3am, showing classic films earlier in the day, modern Hollywood output during peak hours and the best of UK and US independent cinema as well as foreign language and cult films later at night.
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