Freesat has shown that excellent content continues to be found in the free-to-air arena, announcing its annual awards at a ceremony in London. ITV1 HD, E4, Al Jazeera English and CBeebies among those receiving honours that had been judged by an industry panel of the great and the good.
“We’re proud to celebrate the original, high quality programming that keeps our audience entertained and informed and we look forward to bringing viewers even more exciting channels and services in the future,” commented Emma Scott, MD of the BBC-ITV-backed platform.
Among the winners, E4 was chosen by the panel for having an original voice that appeals directly to its target audience. The channel particularly impressed for taking risks that have paid off, with programmes such as Misfits being seen as very current, very exciting and perfect for the viewers it’s aimed at.
Best News Channel, Al Jazeera English, was commended for its journalism and impartially in the reporting of stories that go unreported elsewhere. “It is an honour to receive this award for the second year in a row and to be recognised by our peers in the industry as a leading source of news and current affairs programming,” said Salah Nagm, director of news for Al Jazeera English. “In our short time on air, AJE has worked hard to fill a void in international news by providing coverage of key regions of the world. We are pleased to be part of Freesat’s strong line-up of channels and their rapidly growing UK platform.”
The Horror Channel won Best Themed Channel for its great on-air look and feel, its range of British hosts, audience outreach with ‘horror fests’. The channel returned to its original name earlier this year following a period as Zone Horror.
ITV1 HD was honoured in the Judges Award because of the impact it has had across all Freesat homes in the past year. It moved from being available on the Red Button to a permenant service, and although no longer a Freesat exclusive, clearly remains a popular component of the satellite platform.
Full list of winners
Best Entertainment Channel: E4
Best Children’s Channel: CBeebies
Best News Channel: Al Jazeera English
Lifestyle Channel: Food Network UK
Best Music Channel: Flava
Best Themed Channel: Horror Channel
Best Shopping Channel: QVC
Best Specialist Radio Station: Absolute 80s
Judges’ Special Award: ITV1 HD
Viewers’ Choice for Channel of the Year (joint winners): Ideal World (TV); Planet Rock (radio)