Sky Arts

Sky Arts
Sky Arts
Sky Arts logo.svg
Launched 2000
Owned by British Sky Broadcasting
Audience share 0.0% (1)
0.0% (2)
(August 2011, BARB)
Slogan Be Inspired
Formerly called Artsworld (2000–2007)
Sister channel(s) Challenge,
Pick TV,
Sky Atlantic,
Sky Living,
Sky Livingit,
Sky Living Loves,
Sky Movies,
Sky Movies Box Office,
Sky News,
Sky Sports,
Sky Sports News
Sky Channel 243 (1)
Channel 243 (1 HD Customers)
Channel 245 (2)
Channel 245 (2 HD Customers)
Sky Anytime
Virgin Media Channel 281 (1)
Channel 282 (1 HD)
Channel 283 (2)
Channel 284 (2 HD)
Sky Anytime
UPC Ireland Channel 141 (1)
Smallworld Cable Channel 212 (1)
TalkTalk TV Channel 114 (1)
Internet television
Sky Go Watch live (UK & Ireland only)
Virgin Media Player Watch on demand (UK only)

Sky Arts and Sky Arts HD (formerly known as Artsworld) is the brand name for a group of art-oriented television channels offering 18 hours a day of programmes dedicated to highbrow arts, including theatrical performances, movies, documentaries and music (such as opera performances and classical and jazz sessions). The channels are available via Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk TV, included in most basic subscription packs, but started life as a premium service requiring an additional payment on top of the monthly Sky subscription.[citation needed]



In its early days it was owned and managed by a private partnership (Artsworld Channels) including Sir Jeremy Isaacs. However, the channel suffered severe financial difficulty. In July 2002 it even staged its own farewell party, only to find emergency funding that very evening. In 2003, with a skeleton staff, it was facing closure. At this point, Sky stepped in, taking an initial 50% stake.[citation needed] Sky subsequently bought out the remaining shareholders (including Isaacs) and in 2005 took full control, reducing the staff further, and dropping the channel's premium subscription fee shortly afterwards.[citation needed]

Sky Arts

On 1 March 2007, Artsworld became Sky Arts and Artsworld HD became Sky Arts HD.[citation needed] This resulted in all of BSkyB's wholly owned channels carrying the Sky name.

From 8 June 2007 Sky Arts introduced series called: "Friday Night Hijack". Artists were invited to schedule a night of television that reflects their tastes, interests and passions. Guests included legendary punk DJ Don Letts, Don McCullin, Saffron Burrows, Anthony Horowitz, Malcolm McLaren, Phill Jupitus, Germaine Greer, George Melly and Reggie Perrin writer David Nobbs.[citation needed]

Picks included a Franz Ferdinand documentary entitled Rock it to Rio, a concert performance by Damon Albarn's new band The Good, The Bad and The Queen as well as documentaries and films on Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, Rachel Whiteread and Elvis Costello. This weekly feature is now called SUNDAY NIGHT HIJACK.[citation needed]


Sky Arts 1

Sky Arts 1 (formerly known as Artsworld and Sky Arts), rebranded itself as Sky Arts 1, focusing on the more modern and independent side of Sky Arts' programming. Schedules include cutting-edge documentaries, cult films, and rock concerts.[citation needed]

Sky Arts 2

Sky Arts +1 began broadcasting on 18 August 2008, filling the Performance Channel's EPG slot (purchased by Sky) until the full launch of Sky Arts 2 on 20 October 2008.[citation needed] This channel features classical music, opera, dance and fine arts programming.[citation needed]

Sky Arts HD

Artsworld HD was one of the launch channels on Sky HD in 2006.[citation needed] It was a high-definition simulcast of Artsworld, and later Sky Arts, showing HD programmes when available, and upscaling standard-definition programmes.[citation needed]

Following the launch of Sky Arts 2, Sky Arts HD showed a mix of programmes in high definition from both channels – generally Sky Arts 1 all day on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays and Sky Arts 2 until 7 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, switching to Sky Arts 1 from 7 pm onwards on those days.

On 2 March 2009, Sky Arts HD was split into two channels. Sky Arts 1 HD then broadcast from 7pm-2am daily, and Sky Arts 2 HD from 8 am to 7 pm. The standard definition channels continued to broadcast a full schedule from 8 am – 2am. Sky Arts 1 HD also broadcast a further hour of HD-only programming called 'Aquariavision' intended to be recorded by Sky+ HD owners.

As of June 2009, both Sky Arts 1 and 2 HD broadcast full-time between 6am-2am.[citation needed]

From 1 March 2010, all Sky Arts channels are broadcasting 24 hours a day.[citation needed]

Sky Arts is currently made up of the following channels: Sky Arts 1, Sky Arts 1 HD (a simulcast), Sky Arts 2, Sky Arts 2 HD (a simulcast) and an on and off-air brand re-fresh for the channels is scheduled for 16 August 2010.[citation needed]

Former Logos

Previous life

Sky Arts
The 1990s Sky Arts logo
Launched 2 December 1990
Closed 31 December 1992[1]
Owned by British Sky Broadcasting
Analogue Marcopolo, 11.785

Originally Sky Arts was planned as a full channel on the Astra 1A satellite at the beginning of the Sky Television service back in 1989. Promotional material broadcast during the launch indicated the channel would appear later that year along with Disney Channel.[2] Neither channel launched at the time, Disney due to disputes with Sky, whilst arts programming (such as an early broadcast of the opera 'Carmen') was instead broadcast on Sky One.

Following the merger of British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) and Sky Television plc to form British Sky Broadcasting in 1990,[citation needed] BSkyB replaced the BSB lifestyle channel Now with Sky Television's news channel Sky News.[citation needed] However, contracts were still in place for some shows intended for the Now channel to be shown by BSkyB. BSkyB solved this by occasionally opting out of the regular Sky News service during weekends on the Marcopolo satellite (which was owned by BSB prior to the merger and which carried Now) and showing the programmes as part of a weekend service entitled 'Sky Arts'.[3][4] The service was only seen by former BSB viewers, since Sky Arts did not interrupt Sky News on the existing Astra satellite service.[citation needed]

After all outstanding programmes had been broadcast, the full Sky News service was broadcast on both Marcopolo and Astra and Sky Arts ceased to broadcast. The Sky Arts name returned in 2007, after a 15-year break in transmission – one of the longest such breaks in British television history.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "TV History". UK Free TV. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  2. ^ Sky TV Launch Promo[dead link] TV Ark
  3. ^ Chris Wathan The BSB/Sky Merger Analogue/Sat
  4. ^ About BSkyB – Murdoch on Astra...versus BSB on Marco Polo Irish Cable & Digital Guide

External links

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