History Channel UK becomes AETN UK

By Julian Clover
July 2, 2009 14.54 UK

The History Channel UK, A&E Television Networks and BSkyB’s joint venture that also includes Crime & Investigation Network, Military History and Bio has announced a name change to AETN UK.

“We wanted to reflect the power inside the portfolio,” said Tom Davidson, managing director AETN UK. “We’re very independent, but wanted to bring everything under the corporate brand.”

Crime & Investigation recently secured an Ofcom licence that will enable the channel, launched in the UK three years ago, to commence its international rollout.

“We’re planning launches for Poland, the Benelux and the Middle East. That doesn’t mean to say there won’t be others, but we’re going to localise our feeds and that has cost implications,” said commercial director Christina Foley. She added that the broadcaster planned to fill in some of the gaps in its distribution, such as in Poland where although History has carriage it is not widely available.

Launched in 1995 as The History Channel UK, the JV has grown its brand portfolio from one to seven, broadcasting 13 feeds and 22 VOD services across its territories. HD versions of Crime & Investigation are a possibility, once the SD channel has established itself.

Since January 2009 the JV has launched language versions of History and History HD in Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.