Sky and Channel 4 broaden industry-leading partnership

Category: News Release

Sky and Channel 4 broaden industry-leading partnership

  • Channel 4 to use Sky’s AdSmart technology to deliver fully-targeted, addressable ads across Channel 4 Sales’ linear channels for the first time
  • Multi-year deal sees Formula 1® highlights and British Grand Prix continue on Channel 4, while even more Channel 4 up-front box-sets will be made available to Sky and NOW TV customers
  • Multi-year carriage deal agreed including further expansion of All 4 with more box sets for Sky customers  
  • Commitment from both Sky and Channel 4 to continue technological innovation for viewers

Sky and Channel 4 today announce a new, broader, strategic partnership spanning content, technology and innovation. The multi-year deal builds on the industry-leading partnership announced by the two broadcasters last year and will further benefit both consumers and the broader industry.

For the first time, Channel 4 will use Sky’s ground-breaking AdSmart technology to deliver fully-targeted, addressable ads across its portfolio of linear channels (including UKTV and BT Sport) to both Sky and Virgin Media households. AdSmart allows brands to show different ads to different households watching the same programme, enabling advertisers to target campaigns based on thousands of combinations of demographic, location, interest and lifestyle attributes.

Following a successful 2019 season, highlights of Formula 1® and live coverage of the British Grand Prix will continue to be broadcast on Channel 4 as part of a wider, multi-year content deal. Additionally, Sky and NOW TV customers will be able to enjoy even more up-front box set stacks from Channel 4, meaning they will be able to binge all episodes of selected Channel 4 series before they are broadcast.

Channel 4 and Sky have agreed a multi-year carriage deal renewal which includes broadening All 4 to offer Sky customers ‘All 4 Exclusive’ programming, as part of an offer which will have more box sets than ever before and extending access to Walter Presents series.

Looking ahead, as Sky and Channel 4 continue to innovate together for UK audiences, Channel 4’s brands and content will feature in all of Sky’s existing and future TV products.

This strategic partnership builds on increasing collaboration between Sky and Channel 4 which, most recently, saw the two broadcasters share rights to the final of the Cricket World Cup, enabling the entire nation to celebrate a once-in-a-generation moment of England winning the World Cup on home soil.

Alex Mahon, Chief Executive, Channel 4 said: “This landmark new partnership with Sky is a fantastic example of how broadcasters can work together to extend the reach of our content and innovate for the benefit of both viewers and advertisers. I’m particularly thrilled that we are extending our collaboration with Sky on Formula 1, which secures highlights of all races and live coverage of the British Grand Prix on free-to-air television.”

Stephen van Rooyen, CEO UK and Ireland, Sky said: “We’ve long thought that collaboration benefits both consumers and the industry - today’s news does exactly that. Together, Sky and Channel 4 will connect their viewers to more of the content they love, while bringing brands better ways to reach audiences. We look forward to working even more closely with Channel 4 and, we hope, other British broadcasters to bring more innovation and content to consumers over the coming years.”




Notes to Editors

  • Given the technical integration needed to enable AdSmart to work effectively across Channel 4 Sales’ portfolio, the go-live timings are still to be confirmed.
  • Early this year, Sky and NBCUniversal announced that AdSmart would expand to the US with both broadcasters taking the first step toward creating global premium video offering.
  • Since AdSmart launched five years ago it’s delivered 17,000 campaigns for over 1,800 advertisers
  • AdSmart is available on over 140 ‘AdSmartable’ channels including all Sky, Channel 4 and Channel 5’s portfolio of channels as well as Discovery, MTV, Comedy Central, E!, FOX and many more represented by Sky Media and Channel 4 Sales.
  • The new AdSmart partnership builds on Channel 4’s award-winning track record of commercial innovation including the recent launch of a new VoD advertising product which will enable advertisers, for the first time, to match their own custom audience segments across Channel 4 platforms in a cookie-less, GDPR compliant way.


For further information:

Victoria Gillespie, Deputy Head of Press & Publicity, Corporate, Channel 4 / 020 7306 8165

Harrison Kelly, Head of Corporate Communications, Sky / 07817476365


About Sky

With 24 million customers across seven countries, Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Our 31,000 employees help connect our customers with the very best of Sports, News, the arts and to our own local, original content. Following the success of Sky originals like Chernobyl, Patrick Melrose, Das Boot and Gomorrah we launched Sky Studios and now plan to more than double our investment in original drama and comedy over the next five years.

Our technology allows customers to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, and as we connect millions of families to content they love, it is our responsibility to do it safely – that’s why we offer services like Sky Broadband Buddy and the Sky Kids app. And our online streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.

We also believe that a company of our scale has a responsibility that goes beyond our business, and into the community. Our Sky Ocean Rescue campaign has reached millions across Europe, we’re on track to be free of single-use plastic by 2020, we’re investing £25million over five years in ocean-saving tech and we’re a proud employer – recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our approach to inclusivity.


About Channel 4

Channel 4 is a publicly-owned yet commercially-funded public service broadcaster and has a remit to be innovative, experimental and distinctive. Its public ownership and not-for-profit status ensure all profit generated by its commercial activity is directly reinvested back into the delivery of its public service remit. As a publisher-broadcaster, Channel 4 is also required to commission UK content from the independent production sector and currently works with around 300 creative companies across the UK every year. In addition to the main Channel 4 service, its portfolio includes: E4, More4, Film4, 4Music, 4seven, and digital service All 4.