Two new channels joining the Sky EPG

Apparently, there aren’t enough film channels on Sky Digital. Film Four, Film Four Weekly, TCM, Sky Movies n, Sky Movies Gold n (where n is an integer member of the positive reals), etc, etc. Not enough. No. Not enough.

So there’s another channel on the way that’s going to be better than all the others put together. Actually, I have no idea if that’s true. I’d like it to be true. The only one I watch at the moment is TCM and that’s because

  1. it’s free
  2. it occasionally has a good movie on it

And when I say I watch it at the moment, I mean once a month at the most.

So a shiny new film channel that’s free and has good movies on it would be nice. I don’t think Film Four is going to be it, even when it becomes free next month. And I’m not sure if Film24 is going to be it either, but I’d like it to be.

Film24’s based in Pinewood according to the web site. This means either it’s being run by Pinewood (which would be nice) or they’re just based in Pinewood – if you’ve never been there, take it from me that there’s a hell of a lot of companies based on-site that have nothing to do with the studios proper and indeed have nothing to do with movies at all.*

Also coming soon is Fight+. Or is that Fight Plus? What if they do a time-shifted version of the channel? Would it be Fight++?

Fight+, as the name suggests, is a channel dedicated to fights. Not Bum Fights, but proper martial arts and boxing. Now I’ve been meaning to blog for some time about the sorry state of martial arts coverage on British TV: repeats on Sky n (where n is a member of the set {1,2,3}) of Fight School, which is to actual martial arts what Big Brother tasks are to life in a FTSE100 company, and endless reshowings of the Paris-Bercy martial arts festival on Eurosport do not make for “coverage”, I’m afraid. Anyway, I’ll rabbit on about that when there’s a slow news day – I’m thinking some time in August.

So is Fight+ going to change all this? Already a big hit in Sweden and ready to sweep across the world, I’d say no. Frankly, endless UFC, wrestling, ESPN boxing and cage-fighting matches don’t do it for me, and we already have enough of them on Bravo. The current programme guide has one karate bout listed, which apparently also includes kickboxing (did they change the name of karate when I wasn’t looking?). But that’s about it. I’m amused by the idea of “Master Wongs fighting system”, whatever that might be. And as for:

Naked Womens Wrestling

Watch some of the sexiest female fighters rumble and tumble as they compete against each other in a very sensual naked way.

FFS! I hate sharing viewing interests with a demographic that seems to think “naked womens wrestling” is a legitimate programming concept. I’d rather watch yet another staged Paris-Bercy aikido vs tae kwon do “what a surprise! It’s a draw!” session than grace Fight+ with even a second of my viewing time if that’s its plan.

Tsk tsk.

Prude or pro-feminist? I’m not sure which.

On the other hand, Fight+’s supposed game plan is spelled out in this Wikipedia article and seems to suggest they’re aiming for greater variety in their pick of martial arts and programming, so it may be all right by the time it arrives in the UK.

Anyway, that’s two new channels coming to Sky soon, so brace yourself. There’ll be more to come.


* I could do the journalist-thing and find out which it is, but frankly I can’t be bothered. It’s not exactly life or death is it? Plus I’m supposed to have been spending the last three days taking days off work. See how that panned out?


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.