UK's Channel 4 to Make its Back Catalog Available Online Free-of-Charge
--Will Add 4,000 Hours of Programming to its 4oD Video-on-Demand Service Next Month
UK newspaper, The Guardian, reported Sunday that UK terrestrial broadcaster, Channel 4, is set to make its back catalog of programming available online free-of-charge. Starting next month, around 4,000 hours of the broadcaster's archived content (approximately 10,000 titles) will be available through its catch-up service, 4oD, which until now has offered programs for only 30 days after their broadcast, the newspaper said. Programs that will be available through the initiative include "Ali G," "Queer as Folk," "Shameless," and a selection of episodes from the classic soap opera, "Brookside." However, due to rights issues, US programming and episodes of Channel 4's flagship "Channel 4 News" program will not be available.
According to the Guardian, since undergoing a revamp in April, 4oD has seen a 111% month-on-month increase in viewership. "We were the first broadcaster to launch a comprehensive video-on-demand service in 2006, and since that time 4oD has become one of the UK's most popular VOD brands," said John Gisby, Channel 4's director of future media and technology. "We are extremely proud of the improved service and think the combination of fantastic content that's easy to find and view will prove compelling for all users."