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.
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.”