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Sky partners with IPC for Xmas

To help support its High Definition Christmas Campaign, Sky is renaming its Sky Movies Screen 2 to ‘The Sky Movies Christmas Channel’ for the festive season and is partnering with IPC TX’s portfolio of TV magazines and whatsontv.co.uk to promote the move.

Every day from the 1 December, The Sky Movies Christmas Channel HD is treating viewers to ‘Box Set’ themed days such as Musicals, Best of British, Romance and Fairytales. The films shown on Christmas Day and Boxing Day will be selected by readers of TX’s TV magazines and visitors to Sky’s website and the winners will have their favourite movie dedicated to someone special. 

TVTimes, What’s on TV, TV & Satellite Week, TV easy and whatsontv.co.uk are all promoting The Christmas Channel as part of the editorial and commercial partnership. As well as the reader competition, the partnership includes a host of activities such as a free promotional advent calendar in TVTimes, and Sky’s sponsorship of a new Film channel on whatsontv.co.uk.

The eight-week partnership kicks with a news story in TVTimes and all the TX magazines will run double page advertorials to promote the channel and drive reader votes. At the same time, whatsontv.co.uk will launch a dedicated Film section that highlights The Christmas Channel and Sky will take over the whatsontv.co.uk homepage for a week in November and December.

Other digital support for the Sky channel’s festive name change includes MPUs and leaderboards running on whatsontv.co.uk and IPC Connect sites such as goodtoknow.co.uk, nowmagazine.co.uk and look.co.uk.

At the end of November, TVTimes will help readers count down to Christmas with a free Christmas Channel advent calendar. Opening the calendar doors will reveal the Box Set theme on The Christmas Channel that day.

Sky’s Christmas Channel will have additional presence in TVTimes, including an eight-week sponsorship of the Film listings pages. Plus, the Christmas Channel’s listings in TVTimes will have a Christmas-themed graphic for standout throughout December.

The partnership will culminate in TX’s Christmas bumper issues – by far the biggest selling issues of the year – which will detail the films to be shown on The Christmas Channel on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. They will also announce the winners of the reader competition.

Paul Gilshan, head of marketing for Sky Movies says: “Our Sky Movies Christmas Channel is a great way to give our viewers something special throughout December and the deal with IPC really helps bring the voting and daily Movie Box Sets to life.”

Angie O’Farrell, IPC TX publishing director, adds: “Our readers really look forward to Christmas TV and they will love that Sky has created this dedicated channel. It’s a really fun idea and one the TX titles and whatsontv.co.uk are very happy to support with this exclusive partnership.”

The partnership was driven by IPC TX publishing and IPC Weeklies business development. The deal was negotiated by Lisa Batty, head of business development for IPC Weeklies, and below-the-line communications agency The Promotions Factory.

Dan Meiland, account director at The Promotions Factory, adds: “At a time of intense annual competition for ratings, it’s never more important to be able to create a resonance with viewers than at Christmas.  This is precisely what Sky and IPC TX have been able to achieve on the Sky Movies Christmas Channel partnership, with The Promotions Factory happy to have played a part in helping both companies engage effectively with their target markets.”