A+E Networks UK and Sky are to rebrand the History channel in the UK as Sky History.

The two companies have operated the channel under a joint venture for 25-years, and plan to  increase investment in locally commissioned original programming for Sky History when it rebrands in the spring.

The additional titles will showcase premium factual series and specials delivered by a range of UK production companies.

Sky and A+E said the audience share for History channel was up by 11% in 2019, explaining that the foundation of the growth had been long-running franchises like Curse of Oak Island and new series such as UnXplained with William Shatner. There has also been greater investment in local commissions, including talent-led UK programming such as Damian Lewis: Spy Wars, James Nesbitt: Disasters That Changed Britain and Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the English.

The channel will be available on linear TV and on demand in the UK and Ireland and will also be available on streaming service NOW TV for the first time.

Sky History will continue to be managed and operated by the A+E Networks UK team.

Sky History is the flagship brand of the A+E Networks UK channels, including Crime+Investigation, Sky History2 (formerly History2), Lifetime and free-to-air channel Blaze.

“We are delighted to be deepening our partnership with Sky,” said Dean Possenniskie, managing director of A+E Networks UK. “It is exciting to be taking the History brand to a new level in the U.K. with greater commissioning investment and broader reach. Our joint venture with Sky has been a long-standing success—this innovative brand partnership further strengthens its future.”

Zai Bennett, managing director of content at Sky, said: “The launch of Sky History will build on our existing channel portfolio and complement new channel brands Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature, which will also be coming in Spring 2020. The continuation of our strong partnership with A+E Networks UK will mean more investment in premium original content and make it easier for our customers to find the shows they want to watch.”

Staff Reporter

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