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Niche movie nets aim for home on BSkyB

Real-movies.tv, Movies on 333 roll out on Murdoch's net

LONDON — Two new U.K. niche movie channels are being launched by the owners of a satellite shopping channel that auctions goods to the highest bidder.

Real-movies.tv and Movies on 333 — a reference to the net’s position on the Electronic Program Guide — will roll out on Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB platform this summer.

The low-cost venture, believed to involve an investment of under $5 million, claims to be on the verge of signing deals with Hollywood studios that will give it free-to-air rights to around 200 films.

“These will be free movie channels aimed at specific demographics and will initially be broadcast on Sky, but we hope to be on other platforms in the future,” said Ashley Faull, who runs Bid-up TV and price-drop.tv and is director of Sit-Up Entertainment.

Last year the company had 2 million customers in the U.K. and revenues in excess of $380 million.

Faull added: “Real-movies.tv will be female orientated, with the emphasis on true stories while Movies on 333 will screen Westerns and other niche pictures.

“We’d also like to showcase British short films from film schools provided we can clear the rights,” he explained.

“I am convinced there is a market for non-pay digital niche movie channels in the U.K. that will not compete with Sky’s movie channels.”

Prior to forming Sit-Up, Faull was an executive at Flextech, director of programs at Telewest and head of programs at doomed pay TV venture On Digital.