Sony is launching a free-to-air channel in the UK with series including Orange Is the New Black, Line of Duty and Person of Interest.
The Hollywood studio is to launch the Sony Crime Channel on February 6 by merging its True Crime channel and entertainment station Sony Channel. The move, which will see the new channel air in place of True Crime on the Freeview platform as well as on Sky and Virgin, will hand it more high-profile programming. True Crime previously aired series such as Deadly Women, Crime 360, The Devil You Know and The 9/11 Faker as well as Dog the Bounty Hunter and Paternity Court.
The new station will feature the first four series of Jenji Kohan’s Netflix drama Orange Is the New Black, as well as network titles including Person of Interest, CSI — starting with Series 11 — and Unforgettable. Repeats of high-profile British crime shows include Spooks, Hustle and the first three series of Jed Mercurio’s Line of Duty.
The Sony Channel, an entertainment channel available on Sky and Virgin Media, previously aired shows such as Hot in Cleveland, Community and The Night Shift as well as America’s Got Talent.
Sony said that the channel will attract a “predominantly” female audience and will “create a one-stop destination for crime fans to immerse themselves in the genre with a vibrant fusion of fascinating stories, heart-pounding thrills, engrossing characters and stunning reveals.”
The move sees Sony become the latest U.S. channel operator to ramp up its free-to-air offerings after the likes of Fox launched YourTV, Discovery launched Quest Red and A+E Networks launched Blaze. Sony launched the Sony Movie Channel in the UK in January 2017.