Comcast's Sky to Launch Documentary, Nature Channels

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"Factual shows are now the second most popular genre after drama," Sky said about the spring launches, citing research.

Comcast-owned European pay TV giant Sky on Monday unveiled plans to launch two new factual channels in the U.K., Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature, in spring.

The company in October started Sky Crime and Sky Comedy to expand its lineup of content offerings, including original programming. The two latest channels will be available to Sky customers at no extra charge through linear and on demand. They will also be available on Sky's streaming service Now TV as part of the Now TV Entertainment Pass.

"Research shows that documentaries are rising up the popularity stakes with Sky customers, factual shows are now the second most popular genre after drama," Sky said. "The two new channels will offer hundreds of hours of factual programming, providing an unmissable mix of premium, original commissions and acquired content, including extensive on demand libraries."

Sky Documentaries will be "the home of world-class, real life stories from award-winning film makers, including HBO and Showtime documentaries and new Sky original documentaries," the firm said. "With a mix of feature-length documentaries and series that will challenge, provoke and entertain, the channel will explore a broad range of topics from sport and real-world controversies through to biographies of some of the world’s most famous and infamous people."

New Sky originals on the service will include Tiger Woods: The Comeback, in addition to HBO's McMillions from executive producer Mark Wahlberg and fake news doc After Truth directed by Andrew Rossi, as well as Showtime's The Kingmaker, directed by Lauren Greenfield, which explores the legacy of the Marcos regime in the Philippines.

Sky Nature, meanwhile, is described as the "home to breath-taking natural history programming, dedicated to exploring the beauty and wonder of the natural world and inspiring us all to do more to look after it." The channel will feature such Sky original series as its collection of David Attenborough programming. New Sky originals on the service will include Extreme Animals: One Wild Day and Extreme Animals: Life’s First Steps

Said Zai Bennett, managing director of content at Sky: “Premium documentaries and nature series are increasingly important to our customers, with them wanting to get to the shows they want as quickly as possible. That’s why we’re launching two new content brands, Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature. These new channels will offer our customers an unrivaled destination for brand new, world class documentaries and nature programming as well as an extensive on demand library of the world’s best factual programs.”