GREAT! is rolling out a new movie channel for viewers on Freeview, Freesat, Sky Q and Virgin Media. The new channel will be completely free to watch, with advertisement breaks enabling the broadcaster to air an endless stream of films. However, you might want to wait before switching over to the new channel.
That’s because the latest addition to Sky Q, Freeview and Virgin Media set-top boxes is GREAT! Movies Christmas. It will appear in TV Guides nationwide from Thursday September 23, 2021. That seems to pretty early to be watching festive classics. In fact, watching Christmas films back-to-back before we’ve seen the back of Halloween or Bonfire Night seems a little premature, truth be told.
Sky Cinema launches a dedicated festive movie channel each year, however, this is only available to those who pay for the Sky Cinema plan. This is available on Sky Q, NOW (formerly NOW TV), and Virgin Media set-top boxes.
In contrast, GREAT! Movies Christmas will be completely free-to-air. According to the company behind the channel, Narrative Entertainment, it “will be bursting with feel-good festive films, ranging from Christmas classics, new premieres and wonderfully indulgent treats.”
Exclusive channel premieres will include A Christmas Melody, starring Mariah Carey, Just In Time For Christmas featuring Christopher Lloyd, On Strike For Christmas, The Christmas Sitters, Beaus of Holly, family comedy Call Me Claus with Whoopi Goldberg, A Husband for Christmas, and Crazy for Christmas.
GREAT! Movies Christmas will be available until January 4, 2022. During the festive period, GREAT! Movies Christmas will replace GREAT! Movies Classic in your TV Guide. In January, GREAT! Movies Classic will return to its rightful place on your set-top box.
As it’s replacing the existing channel, you’ll be able to find GREAT! Movies Christmas with the same channel code. That’s channel 51 on Freeview, 319 on Sky Q and Sky+HD, 424 on Virgin Media, and 303 on Freesat.
The GREAT! entertainment network replaced Sony Movies, Sony Movies Action, Sony Movies Classic and the Sony Channel when they first launched in the UK on Tuesday May 25, 2021.
Speaking at the time, Narrative Entertainment chief exec Daniel Levin told Variety: “Sony has done a wonderful job of cultivating these channels and they’ve been a wonderful partner in this transition. The programming will be uninterrupted. We’re particularly excited to welcome a brand like Pop into the Narrative family, which is without question a premier destination network for children across the UK, and to give an incredible new look and feel to the movies and entertainment channels.”