Sony Movie Channel (UK)
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|Sony Movie Channel|
|Launched||3 May 2012|
|Owned by||Sony Pictures Television|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV 16:9)|
(August 2018 , BARB)
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Replaced||Movies4Men 2 (Sky)|
Movie Mix (Freeview)
Sony Crime Channel
Channel 50 (+1)
Channel 322 (+1)
|11306 V 27500 5/6|
11306 V 27500 5/6 (+1)
|Virgin Media||Channel 425|
|TVPlayer (UK)||Watch live|
Sony Movie Channel is a British free-to-air digital television channel showing films and related content. As of 2018 the channel is transmitted on all the major broadcast platforms in the UK - terrestrial, satellite and cable. The channel is only broadcast in standard-definition.
As a free-to-air channel, supported by advertising, it is subject to standard UK broadcasting rules, which means that films shown between 5.30 am and 9 pm are often edited to make them suitable for pre-watershed slots. After 9 pm, the rules are more relaxed and films will generally not be censored.
The channel formerly aired an Animax programming block every Monday night.
Launch and transmission on satellite
The Sony Movie Channel brand was made available outside the US for the first time when a British version of the station launched on the Sky platform in the UK and Ireland on 3 May 2012 . To release Sky guide slots for the launch of SMC and its +1hr timeshift, Movies4Men 2 and its +1 service were closed (and thus lost by Freesat viewers).
At launch and until 2018, SMC was broadcast on a free-to-view basis, meaning that access to channel was only available to those with a Sky viewing card, and although no subscription payment was required to view the channel, it was unavailable to Freesat devices.
Sony Movie Channel became fully free to air on satellite on 13 August 2018, in preparation for its full launch on the Freesat programme guide on 9 October 2018. To permit SMC's launch on Freesat, Sony reorganised their other movie channels on the guide: Movies4Men +1 was no longer listed on the Freesat guide as a result of the addition of SMC, though remains freely available for manual tune-in. Encryption was also removed from Sony Movie Channel +1 at the same time, though this was not added to the Freesat full guide.
Freeview and cable (Movie Mix)
When launched on 15 July 2009, The Big Deal broadcast live interactive quiz content 7 days a week from 22:00-05:00 on Freeview channel 37 (later channel 32), initially timesharing with RT and Create and Craft. Each night, The Big Deal broadcast various games and puzzles, with cash prizes to be won for viewers who guessed the correct answers. Viewers were asked to call in or log on to The Big Deal website to enter these games. Later in the year The Big Deal reduced its timeslot from 22:00-05:00 to 00:30-05:00.
On 6 November 2009, The Big Deal ceased broadcasting its live quiz content. Teleshopping instead commenced broadcasting between 04:00-06:00, later reduced to 05:00-06:00, in areas yet to undergo digital switchover. A 24-hour version of the channel, meanwhile, was rolled out using the same channel number in post-DSO areas; the fulltime version was made available in all areas on 2 March 2011.
On 12 April 2011, The Big Deal began broadcasting TView, a short-lived pay-per-view film service, with broadcasting hours reduced to 18:00-05:00. The TView service ran until 27 April 2011, when it was replaced by teleshopping, and its hours were reduced further to 18:00-22:00. From 7 July 2011, The Big Deal changed back to operating 05:00-06:00, then, on 6 September 2011 it changed its broadcasting 00:00-04:00. The broadcasting hours were changed again on 20 October 2011 to 03:00-05:00. By this point, in addition to teleshopping presentations the channel also broadcast psychic sessions in which the viewer could ask for their own psychic reading.
On 6 December 2012, The Big Deal was renamed Movie Mix on the programme guide, and reacquired a 24-hour broadcast slot. The channel continued airing chiefly teleshopping - initially via a simulcast of Speed Auction TV - as well as a classic movie each night.
On 17 January 2013, Movie Mix on Freeview began to simulcast the full schedule of films and programmes of satellite channel More Than Movies (previously known as men&movies), though presented under the retained Movie Mix branding. The Movie Mix channel initially remained owned and operated by Cellcast subsidiary Square 1 Management, but using More Than Movies programming under license from Sony Pictures Television.
In March 2014, Cellcast agreed to early termination of its exclusive rights for Movie Mix for a one off payment of £2.98m from Entertainment Networks, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television,. bringing Movie Mix and More Than Movies under common ownership. The channels continued to carry the same programming and split branding as before.
On 22 March 2016, More Than Movies on satellite was closed down and was replaced by True Crime, with Movie Mix retained on Freeview only, broadcasting its own programming schedule, By this time many films on Movie Mix on Freeview were also being broadcast on the Sony Movie Channel on satellite, though the channels retained separate schedules and branding.
On 12 August 2016 Movie Mix began testing on Virgin Media cable systems, with the channel fully launched on 25 August 2016. This meant the Movie Mix schedule was now available on terrestrial and cable platforms, but not on satellite.
In December 2016 it was announced that Sony Movie Channel would be re-launched and made available over cable and Freeview in January 2017, by way of a rebranding of Movie Mix. . On 10 January 2017, the channel replaced Movie Mix on the Freeview and Virgin Media platforms. In preparation for the switch Movie Mix and SMC had been broadcasting an identical schedule in the final days prior to the transition. Although now fully free-to-air on Freeview, the channel remained unavailable to Freesat users until satellite encryption was lifted in August 2018.
- "Sony planning UK film channel". Broadband TV News. 29 February 2012.
- "Sony Movie Channel – Almost here!". Sony Entertainment Television UK. 28 March 2012.
- Sony Movie Channel joins Freesat a516digital October 8, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018
- "New Freeview channel offers PPV Bollywood". Biz Asia. 20 April 2011.
- "Big Deal morphs as Speed Auction TV and Classic Movies arrive on Freeview channel 32". a516digital. 6 December 2012.
- "Changes to Freeview Channel 32". Radio and Telly. 6 December 2012.
- "MovieMix morphs again as channel aligned with More>Movies". a516digital. 17 January 2013.
- "Television Broadcast Licensing Update December 2012". Ofcom. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "is the movie mix..." Sony Entertainment Television. Facebook. 17 January 2013.
- "Sony preps UK movie channel". c21Media. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- "Sony Movie Channel to go live on UK platforms". TBI Vision. Retrieved 18 April 2017.