Channel 4’s new channel, tentatively called More4, will focus on history, property series, documentaries and drama. More4 will also feature some original programming, spin-offs from Channel 4 shows and drama and entertainment bought in from the US.
"This shouldn’t be thought of as a factual channel. It’s more based on a demographic," a Channel 4 spokesman said. "If E4 targets the younger end of the Channel 4 audience demographic, More4 will be aimed at the older end of that demographic," he added. "At launch there will be less origination, more narrative repeats of Channel 4 shows – ‘another chance to see’ – and archive programming. There will be entertainment and drama, as well as factual programmes, and some acquisitions. You could also see More4 doing live streaming of some of our more upmarket Channel 4 factual stuff, like Regency House."
The Guardian speculates that More4 will have an annual budget of £10m-£20m, and the channel is not expected to launch for at least a year.
More4 is likely to broadcast for around 12 hours a day, probably from early evening to early morning, when it launches. The launch will be welcomed by the government, as it is another incentive for viewers to move away from analogue boradcasts.
Channel 4 is expected to broadcast More4 on Freeview but also seek carriage on Sky Digital and digital cable services NTL and Telewest.
Commercial and creative development of More4 will be led by the managing director of 4Channels, Dan Brook, and the head of digital programming, Murray Boland.
Sky also admitted publicly for the first time yesterday that it has plans to launch a mainstream channel to compete with BBC1, ITV, Channel 4 and Five.