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Channel 4 Board Confirms Launch of More4

Channel 4 today confirms the launch of More4, its planned public service free-to-air digital channel. The new channel, due on air in October 2005, will have an annual programming budget of £33 million at launch.

More4 will be a multi-genre public service channel with a strong emphasis on factual programming alongside original and acquired drama and films. A significant proportion of its budget will be spent on origination - each month More4 will commission a major documentary or drama on a topical issue as well as documentaries to be broadcast in prime-time several times a week. More4 will also commission a daily news programme which will capitalise on the strengths of Channel 4 News but with a brief to analyse a selection of the day’s biggest news stories in more depth and from a unique perspective.

Other projects being considered include a nightly talk show covering topical issues as well as showcasing the best international film documentaries and US drama acquisitions. The West Wing will premiere on More4 in a regular peak-time slot.

Designed to extend Channel 4’s current offering of engaging and entertaining programming, More4 will also provide an outlet for short window repeats of Channel 4 programmes targeting viewers who missed their original transmission. The new channel forms part of Channel 4’s long-term strategy to launch a suite of digital channels to help sustain/protect Channel 4’s unique voice in a multi-channel world.

As Head of More4 Peter Dale will have overall editorial responsibility and retains a brief for documentary events on Channel 4. As Controller of Digital Channels, Dan Brooke will have overall responsibility for strategy, alongside his responsibility for developing and launching new channels.

It is expected that the new channel will be carried on Freeview, Sky Digital and cable, from launch.

Dale said: "We’ve got ambitious programming plans for More4 including original content designed to appeal to viewers who want to be stimulated as well as entertained by intelligent programmes. A key focus will be on building a channel that feels of the moment and engages with viewers over important issues of the day. More4 represents a significant new investment in digital for Channel 4 and will enable us to strengthen our public service contribution in a multi-channel environment.”

Brooke added: “Audiences are underserved with challenging and entertaining programming on digital platforms and More4 is designed to fill that gap. By investing in original commissions we are aiming to build one of the most compelling free-to-air digital channels available.”

For further information please contact: Vicky Martin, Channel 4: 0207 306 3636: vmartin@channel4.co.uk

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