The British broadcaster, Channel 4, has embarked on a significant international expansion by forging agreements with American streaming platforms Tubi, Plex, and Xumo Play. This marks the network’s inaugural venture into the international channel market.
Two channels, namely 4 Adventure and 4 Emergency, will be accessible on these streaming platforms, granting millions of viewers in the United States free access to a plethora of Channel 4 content, as well as other British programming.
Channel 4’s Head of Streaming Editorial, UK & International, Alex Wall said: “Launching our first ever international channels is a pivotal moment for Channel 4 and opens up a huge range of exciting possibilities.
“These channels will introduce US audiences to popular shows that embody our core brand values, bringing Channel 4’s unique tone of voice and our rich British culture to the US FAST market. It also provides a great opportunity to further diversify our revenue streams, and with more deals in the pipeline, we’re really excited about this new chapter for Channel 4.”
4 Adventure will showcase an array of reality and documentary programmes centred around survival challenges and endurance, including titles such as “Shipwrecked” and “The Island With Bear Grylls.”
On the other hand, 4 Emergency will provide US viewers with a unique glimpse into the frontline of British health and emergency response systems through programs such as “24 Hours In A&E,” “Emergency Helicopter Medics,” “Emergency Rescue: Air, Land & Sea,” and “Paramedics: On The Frontline” (known as “999: On The Frontline” in the UK).
These FAST Channels represent an entirely new avenue for Channel 4, allowing them to export British content and offer increased international exposure and opportunities to British independent production companies.
Alex added: “Thanks to Channel 4’s agile operating model, we’re able to explore the potential returns and other opportunities in this fast-growing market.”
“With nearly 250 channels, our FAST offering provides our viewers with a lean-back, drop-in experience, allowing them to dive deep into their obsessions – from reality to documentaries, to action and beyond,” said Sam Harowitz, Vice President of Content Acquisitions, Tubi. “We’re thrilled to partner with Channel 4 to bring their beloved British programming to our platform, which we’re certain will entertain and captivate our audiences.”
“We’re excited about the Channel 4 partnership as they launch their first ever international channels on Plex,” adds Shawn Eldridge, vice president of business development and content at Plex. “With the addition of the Channel 4 depth and breadth of premium content like 4 Adventure and 4 Emergency, we’re continuing to fill out the most diverse and entertaining selection of FAST channels anywhere.”
“The launch of Channel 4 on Xumo Play enhances our international offerings, and brings uniquely British content to millions of viewers on our industry-leading FAST service,” said Anthony Layser, Executive Director, Content Acquisition and Programming Strategy at Xumo. “Channel 4 offers a highly entertaining cultural twist with lifestyle content from reality shows and documentaries to action and drama that is certain to resonate with U.S. audiences.”
It is anticipated that there will be further announcements of similar partnerships with other platforms later this year.
To facilitate the technical delivery of its content on the FAST channels, Channel 4 has enlisted the support of Amagi, Broadcast Intelligence, and Gracenote.
Alex further comments: “Channel 4 is delighted to be working with Gracenote whose unparalleled content metadata ensures that we are able to attract viewers and drive engagement with our valuable content on popular FAST services in the US.”
4 Emergency and 4 Adventure are available for streaming starting this month on Tubi, Plex, and Xumo Play.