A+E Networks sparks UK channel Blaze

A+E Networks UK will launch its first global free-to-air brand, Blaze, next month, slated for an initial run in the UK and Ireland.
August 18, 2016

A+E Networks UK is to launch its first global free-to-air brand, Blaze, next month, slated for an initial run in the UK and Ireland.

The entertainment brand will launch in the territories on September 20 as a free-to-air channel and TV Everywhere service, offering live streaming and catch-up viewing on mobile and tablet for iOS and Android.

It will be made available 24 hours a day to 19 million UK homes on the Freeview platform, as well as 12.4 million Sky subscribers across the UK and Ireland.

The channel will bring together various series from the A+E network portfolio, including Pawn Stars, Mountain Men, American Restoration, The First 48 and Unusual Suspects.

A+E Networks first announced its plans to roll out a free-to-air entertainment channel in May. In April, the global media company rolled out entertainment lifestyle channel Lifetime in Turkey across 20 million homes, offering viewers unscripted series and first-run TV films.

In the UK, A+E Networks’ channel portfolio includes History, Lifetime, Crime + Investigation and H2. The channels are available on pay-TV platforms Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk.

Freeview is operated by DTV Services, a joint venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and transmitter operator Arqiva.

“Our new entertainment brand is a great addition to A+E Networks’ portfolio and reflects our strength as a global media company,” said A+E Networks’ MD of EMEA Dean Possenniskie in a statement.

“It’s great that we can offer free-to-air audiences the chance to enjoy many of A+E’s hit shows, with much of the content new to Freeview,” added Heather Jones, UK general manager for A+E Networks. “Blaze’s name and identity were created to celebrate the spirit of the extraordinary characters featured on the channel.”

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.