BSkyB is rebranding Virgin1, the general entertainment channel it acquired as part of a £160m deal to buy Virgin Media Television, as Channel One.
Channel One, which is available on Freeview, Virgin Media and Sky as a free-to-air service, will relaunch on Friday 3 September backed by a bolstered schedule and a marketing campaign.
The channel will be broadcasting the recent remake of 1980s alien invasion series V, first seen in the UK earlier this year on SyFy.
“Channel One will continue to embody the wit and warmth of Virgin1 and inherits the jam-packed schedule that has propelled the channel to the market-beating growth over the last few years,” said Jonathan Webb, the managing director of Channel One’s parent company, the Living TV Group, which was previously known as Virgin Media Television.
BSkyB completed the deal to buy Virgin Media Television, which operates pay-TV channels including Living, Bravo and Challenge, last month, although the Office of Fair Trading is examining the deal to see whether there might be regulatory issues.
In June, BSkyB moved to reduce the valuable premium content it runs on Freeview by putting Sky Sports News behind a paywall after eight years as a free-to-air service. It is to replace the channel with a one-hour time-shifted Sky 3+1 service later this year.