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Film4 prepares for free launch

Movie channel will be free for digital TV viewers


A remote control pointed at a television screen.

Channel 4’s movie channel Film4 will re-launch on Sunday evening as a free service for digital television viewers.

The channel will launch on Freeview for the first time and will continue to be available to all cable and satellite viewers at no additional cost. On digital satellite, the Film4 Channel will be available to freesat viewers as well as Sky digital subscribers.

The channel will screen a mix of major Hollywood films and British films, both new and old, alongside classics and cult favourites.

Film4’s re-launch begins at 9pm on Sunday with Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning film, Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.

The channel will then broadcast 12 hours each day from 3pm to 3am showing a mix of major Hollywood films and British films, alongside timeless classics and cult favourites.

Quality films

Channel 4 Director of TV, Kevin Lygo said: ‘Channel 4’s unrivalled reputation in film is built on almost a quarter of a century of showing and making quality films – we’ve made a significant contribution to broadening audience tastes and remain a major financier and producer of films and a showcase for the best of British and international cinema.

‘Increasing Film4’s distribution and making it freely available will help maintain and protect Channel 4’s stake in British film for the next 25 years.’

The new Film4 channel will have advert breaks for the first time and Channel 4 is also planning the launch of a video-on-demand subscription service on various media platforms – including broadband and cable – to follow later in the year.

Film4 can be found on Channel 31 on Freeview, Channel 315 on Sky, Channel 701/50 on NTL and Channel 444 on Telewest.

Most existing digital TV viewers with relatively new boxes won’t need to re-tune but some may encounter a few problems and may need to re-programme their box.

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