The Viacom-owned U.K. broadcaster already had a deal with A+E. It has now extended the agreement for content from the channel operator’s Blaze service. Titles from PBS America, the U.K. digital channel run by PBS Distribution, will also be added as Channel 5 ramps up its lineup of shows from third parties. There will also be new programming from Viacom stablemate BET.
The new shows will start to be added to My5 this month and 1,500 hours will be added in all over the next year. PBS America documentaries on My5 will include “Secrets of Stonehenge” (pictured), “Becoming the Beatles,” and “The History Detectives.”
The deal with A+E covers U.S. titles including “Swamp People,” “Pawn Stars,” and “Billy the Exterminator.”
With Netflix and Amazon gaining ground, the U.K.’s incumbent broadcasters, including the newest of the traditional players, Channel 5, are bolstering their streaming services. Channel 5 has bulked up My5 and Channel 4 is also adding third-party content to its service, recently striking a 900-hour deal for Vice programming. The changes effectively change the streaming offerings from catch-up services to platforms, with content from different suppliers.
“Viewers have come to expect a lot more from streaming services and this new slate of partners accelerates the development of My5 as we take it from player to platform,” said James Tatam, VP of commercial, digital & operations, Channel 5. “We look forward to announcing further content partners in future.”
For third-parties, striking deals with the likes of My5 means an additional free-TV outlet for their content. “Our launch on My5 gives us a great shop window for our offering in the free streaming world,” said Richard Kingsbury, general manager, PBS America.