The UK broadcaster Channel 4 has announced the launch of a new channel, 4seven, which will offer viewers the opportunity of watching some of their most popular programmes that its stations have shown over the previous seven days.
4seven is a catch-up channel that will launch later in 2012, and will be marketed as an alternative to watching TV programmes online via 4od.
The news was relayed via Channel 4’s own website following the announcement made in a speech by its chief executive, David Abraham, at the FT Digital Media Conference. He said of the new initiative, “With so much choice out there, viewers are increasingly saying they sometimes just miss the best stuff, despite their PVR [personal video recorder] and VOD [video on demand]. 4seven [therefore] will give viewers more chances to catch the most popular and talked about Channel 4 shows.”
According to the BBC, “Channel 4 is still in discussions with production companies to secure rights for shows to appear on the new channel.”
Prior to Channel 4 beginning transmission, on 2 November 1982, there were just three TV channels in the UK. At the time, it was a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), but is now run by the Channel Four Television Company Limited. Since its inception, Channel 4 has gone on to launch a number of sister channels, including Film4, E4 and More4. It also runs 4Music, which until 2008 was The Hits channel.
On its inaugural night, C4 broadcast a number of programmes, including the word-association game show Countdown, which is still running today, the David Cook-penned film, Walter – the first-ever Film on Four, which starred Ian McKellen (Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings films)and Nabil Shaban (Sil in Doctor Who) – and Five Go Mad in Dorset.