UK satcaster BSkyB will launch a dedicated James Bond film channel after securing the broadcast rights to the franchise from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) earlier this year.
The entire James Bond catalogue will run for a month in high definition as Sky Movies 007 HD. The channel launches on October 5 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first movie, Dr No, and the opening of the latest film, Skyfall, on October 26.
Despite its name, the channel will not hold the 7 slot on Sky’s EPG. It will, however, air the 22 Bond films created by Albert Broccoli’s Eon Productions and the two ‘unofficial’ ones – Never Say Never Again and Woody Allen’s Casino Royale – “without commercial interruption.”
The ‘pop-up’ net will be available across Sky platforms, including to those who subscribe monthly to the new VoD service Now TV. Skyfall will air on Sky Movies next year.
Sky snatched the UK rights to the franchise away from terrestrial broadcaster ITV, which had held them for nearly four decades.
Last week, the UK’s Competition Commission ruled Sky does not hold a monopoly position over movie rights, much to the chagrin of its rivals.
Bond rights owner MGM, meanwhile, is gearing up for a potential company IPO after last week acquiring the 25% stake in the company held by investor Carl Icahn.