Updated: Virgin Media plans new channel launch
The channel will mix newly commissioned and acquired programming with user-generated content and content from Virgin Media pay-TV channels. Catch-ups, previews and exclusive content will be available via broadband and Virgin Media on-demand.
It is thought the channel will be pitched somewhere between its female-targeted channel Living and the male-targeted Bravo, and may replace Virgin Media TV's FTN channel on DTT.
Celia Taylor has been appointed director of programming for the channel alongside her responsibilities for Bravo, Bravo 2, Challenge and Trouble. She will report to Claudia Rosencrantz, director of television.
Jonathan Webb, managing director of Virgin Media Television, said: "I want Virgin 1 and the newly reinvigorated Living to be two of the top television channels by switchover. Virgin 1 will shake up multi-channel and free-to-air TV, and start liberating viewers from the linear schedule. It will be a creative tour de force and a cutting-edge example of any time, any place content. Virgin Media TV has huge support from Virgin Media and Richard Branson, who agree that Virgin 1 is what UK audiences have been waiting for."
Programme acquisitions, understood to include US programming bought at the recent series of upfronts in Los Angeles last month, are expected to be announced soon.
Elsewhere, Virgin Media is thought to be close to a deal Setanta Sports to launch its own sports channel.