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Sky launches ad-free children’s channel

Comcast-owned Sky is launching an ad-free linear TV channel for kids in the UK and Ireland in February.

It will be available to Sky subscribers on the Sky Kids package, which costs £6 a month, and subscribers to Sky’s streaming service Now who have the £9.99 a month entertainment membership.

“From February 2023, Sky Kids will say goodbye to a shiny new linear channel dedicated to entertaining and inspiring children (ages 1-7) and supporting families on their daily adventures,” the company said Tuesday at the unveiling of the launch. “Home to 24-hour ad-free programming, the new channel will show high-quality and big-name Sky originals that kids love and parents can trust.”

The Sky Kids package currently offers eight children’s channels from entertainment giants such as Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery, as well as on-demand offers of favorite shows.

“Seamlessly integrated into the Sky Kids package, which already offers 10,000 episodes of on-demand kids content and a variety of partner channels such as Nick Jr., Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, the new linear channel will give viewers access to a host of new original Sky programming and franchise favorites,” Sky said.

The channel promises to “help parents juggle their daily routines, with programs built to complement different blocks of their busy day.” The content includes the themes of ‘learning and doing’, arts and crafts, music, but also dance and fitness.

“Millions of our customers already enjoy watching our huge range of original shows on-demand, but families with younger children have told us that watching linear channels is an important part of their day; so we listened and expanded our Sky Kids offering at no extra cost,” said Lucy Murphy, director of children’s content at Sky. “The new channel will have a whole host of brand new and beloved shows for kids and families to enjoy, and we can’t wait to reveal the full fantastic lineup of shows.”

New Sky originals airing on the channel include TV presenter and author Fearne Cotton executive producer My friend Misty (for ages 5-7), “in which the animated character Misty sets out to build children’s emotional resilience,” according to the company. “Misty surprises a group of children on the show with magical visits and helps them deal with their feelings, both good and bad, by providing a series of tips and practical exercises to support them in difficult situations.”

Said Cotton: “This show introduces us to a large number of characters and situations where different emotions emerge. Misty is always ready to help the kids on the show with their emotion, getting into a little mischief along the way. It is a fun, colorful and exploratory show for both children and parents.”

The new Sky Original will also be launched next year Ready, Eddie, go! (ages 3+), “based on the likeable character Eddie who is autistic,” the company said. “We see him being taken step by step through new experiences and situations, such as a trip to the hairdresser, so when he encounters this in real life, he is ready to go.” The animated series is based on the Eddie’s Stories books written by Nikki Saunders, whose oldest son is autistic.

The new Sky Kids channel is also coming Dinosaur Club (ages 4+), “giving viewers the chance to discover the strangest and most surprising truths about dinosaurs as they journey through a fantastically fun virtual land of these prehistoric giants,” according to the company. “Our young intrepid hosts, Ayo and Harriet, travel through time to the past, revealing facts along the way and embarking on an amazing adventure.”

Include existing Sky Kids originals for the linear channel MC Grammar: Wonder Raps, Sign with will, The Brilliant World of Tom Gates, morph and The very small creatures.

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