Sky Arts has announced four new commissions in the UK market.
The announcement was made as the arts and culture channel goes free-to-air with new slots on Freeview and Freesat.
Sky Arts is promising a renewed focus on bringing more of the arts to more people with an ambitious programme of activity to support and champion the arts at a vital time for the cultural sector. The channel will launch a series of bursaries worth £30,000 each, that will see leading figures from the arts support and mentor diverse and emerging new artists.
New commissions include actor Ashley Walters making his directorial debut in a short film written by newcomer Jerome Holder; in Offended by Irvine Welsh: Irvine Welsh explores the nature of offence and its impact; In Sky Arts Book Club Live, Andi Oliver and Elizabeth Day invite four members of an existing club to chat about new releases, favourite classics and hear directly from different guest authors each episode, and Charles Hazlewood: Beethoven and Me: marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig Van Beethoven.
Sky Arts has been added to Freeview and Freesat on channel numbers 11 and 147. Popular entertainment channel Pick moves to new home on channel number 34.
Owen Jenkinson, Freeview’s Marketing Director, said: “We are delighted to have Sky Arts join the Freeview family giving our viewers access to an even wider variety of high-quality content. Sky’s decision to take Sky Arts free-to-air demonstrates the enduring power of free TV available to all”.
While the Sky Arts linear channel is now free of charge, the Sky Arts On Demand library of arts content, with more than 2,000 hours of shows, remain exclusive to Sky and NOW TV entertainment pass customers.