Sky Is Shaking Up Freeview With A New Premium Channel

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Sky has announced a significant addition to free-to-air television today, by introducing Sky Mix, a new channel bringing a taste of premium entertainment to Freeview audiences.

Sky confirmed to us today that the new channel is scheduled to go live on October 18, on Freeview Channel 11.

While the channel is basically a rebrand of the existing Sky Pick channel, it aims to offer a broader range of content than its predecessor, showcasing Sky originals, films, and an array of premium programming – all without a subscription.

The Equalizer Season 1
The Equalizer – Coming To Sky Mix

For the time being, there’s no mention of whether Sky Mix will end up on Freesat at some point. And, just like Sky Pick, Sky Mix is not expected to be an HD channel on Freeview (though an HD version may end up on Sky in the future).

With Sky Pick set to occupy Freeview Channel 11, it will be replacing Sky Arts in the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG).

However, Sky Arts enthusiasts need not worry as it will find a new home on Freeview Channel 36 (which previously belonged to Sky Pick).

Sky Arts channel
Sky Arts

The introduction of Sky Mix is a significant move as it marks Sky’s first venture into free-to-air broadcasting since the launch of the Sky Arts free channel in 2020.

Sky Mix isn’t an entirely new creation but a rebranding of the existing Pick channel. This rebranding is aimed at presenting a broader spectrum of content to the viewers, an upgrade from what Pick previously offered.

At its core, Sky Mix is envisaged as a hub for a diverse range of programming – or, in other words, something that will give viewers “a taste” of Sky’s content, and hopefully (for Sky) entice them to subscribe. 

The channel will have themed weeknight schedules, with viewers being treated to dedicated days for drama, comedy, and true crime, among others.

Some of the Sky Originals that are due to make their Series 1 Freeview debuts in 2023 are Cobra, Rob & Romesh Vs, A Discovery of Witches and A League of Their Own: Road Trip.

A Discovery of Witches Sky
A Discovery of Witches (Photo: Sky)

The channel will also feature original factual specials, such as Liverpool Narcos and Shark with Steve Backshall

Moreover, Sky Mix will include acquired titles from Sky Atlantic and Sky Witness, including early seasons of popular shows like HBO’s True Detective and The Equalizer

However, viewers should not expect brand-new seasons of shows, as most of the content will be a few years old (at the very least).

In some cases, Sky Mix aims to reacquaint audiences with shows from yesteryears, like the first season of True Detective ahead of its fourth season, which is slated to air on Sky Atlantic next year. 

In addition to TV shows, Sky Mix will be the only place to find Sky Original films on Freeview, with classic titles like SAS: Red Notice among those making their Freeview premiere along with other favourites from the extensive Sky Cinema library.

SAS Red Notice
SAS Red Notice (Photo: Sky)

And, with Sky Arts moving further down the line on the Freeview channels list, it may lose some prominence – but Sky Mix plans to simulcast new Sky Arts commissions as they air.

This will ensure that Sky Arts retains its visibility and relevance despite the channel shift.

Pick, the channel that Sky Mix is replacing, was initially launched as Sky Three in 2005. Over the years, it underwent several rebrands and content shifts.

Sky Pick logo

In recent years, Sky has increased its focus on the channel, airing Sky Showcase and Sky Witness programmes a few years after their original broadcasts. 

A peek into Pick’s current schedule reveals a range of drama and factual titles, with most of the titles being quite old – Merlin, Star Trek: Voyager, Magnum P.I. and lots and lots of Highway Cops and Highway Partrol.

With Sky Mix, there’s the anticipation of a refreshed lineup that leans towards more recent titles (up to a point) and acquisitions from Sky’s repertoire – but we expect many of the older shows from Pick to remain on Mix as well.

Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content, Sky UK and Ireland, said: “Sky Mix is the perfect free-to-air home for us to showcase some of our favourite Sky shows that have already been a hit with our customers on Sky and NOW platforms.”

6 thoughts on “Sky Is Shaking Up Freeview With A New Premium Channel”

  1. Hi after hearing the hype regarding this new channel we are supposed to be getting on Freeview. I am yet to see it I read it was coming on at 1 am this morning then read you have to retune which I did twice on my Humax then read you have to to a factory reset which I did. Still no channel.

  2. So what about pick on freesat? will that still be there? thanks.

    Been watching merlin, stargate, voyager, quantum leap.

    Hope this mix gets to freesat and has brassic because they only released s1 on dvd.

    Good channels to watch any good old shows again or if missed first time around or just tight and not want to give Murdoch so much for Sky.

    • Over the years Murdoch’s share in Sky has declined and SkyBSB took over the Italian and German Sky companies and mergedvthem into Sky pl with its shares quoted on the London stock exchange. Then in 2018 it became 100% owned by Comcast owner of NBC

    • It be on all Day and all evening just like Sky Art, plus don’t forget to retune your Freeview TV to update the name on channel 11.


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