Channel 4 today announced the launch of its first new channel since More4 came on air in 2005.
4seven will show programmes screened on Channel 4 during the previous seven days, with content chosen based on the buzz it has created online, via social networking sites and blogs, and among critics.
The new channel will be available via Freeview, and as part of Sky and Virgin Media subscriptions.
Speaking at the Financial Times Digital Media Conference this morning, Channel 4 Chief Executive David Abraham said: “With so much choice out there, viewers are increasingly saying they sometimes just miss the best stuff, despite their PVR and VOD. 4seven will give viewers more chances to catch the most popular and talked about Channel 4 shows from the last seven days.”
He added: “It will schedule the main channel content that is creating noise – amongst social media, bloggers, commentators and of course via contact our viewers have directly with us – and incorporate this buzz into the look and feel of the channel.”
Abraham said the new channel would increase the broadcaster’s overall audience for shows and provide a chance to promote its main channels.
“Scheduled in close harmony with all our other channels, 4seven will be a powerful way of maximising the audience for the many hours of new Channel 4 programming we launch every week, as well as an opportunity to direct viewers back to Channel 4 to watch more,” he told the conference.
Channel 4’s catch-up website, 4oD, already provides access to recently broadcast programmes, as well as an archive of older content, but requires an IPTV or other internet-connected device to enable it to be watched via a television set.
The multi-platform launch of 4seven is expected to take place in the late summer.