Sky Arts is now available to watch without subscription on Freeview

The channel saw a 50% increase in viewership during lockdown

Sky Arts has just been made available to watch for free.

The arts and culture channel, which was subscription-only until now, is now free for everyone to view on Freeview channel 11.

Sky have said the launch will “supercharge its mission to increase access to and drive participation in the arts, at a vital time for the cultural sector,” according to a press release.

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Philip Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts, added: “There’s never been a stronger need or demand for the arts, nor a more important time to champion and celebrate creativity.

“That’s why we’re throwing open the doors to make Sky Arts a free channel. During lockdown we’ve seen audiences to the channel increase by 50 per cent and our weekly live paint-along show, Portrait Artist of The Week, reached 4.6 million people with over 20,000 portraits painted.”

He continued: “With our renewed focus and mission to increase accessibility and participation across the arts, we want to hear from everyone with ideas for how we might be able to work together – we can only succeed with artists and creatives at the heart of what we do.”

The new free-to-air Sky Arts will feature a number of new, original programmes, while the channel’s On Demand library, including 2,000 hours of content, will remain exclusive to paying Sky and NOW TV customers.

The slate of original programming will include Portrait Artist of The WeekPortrait Artist of the YearDanny Dyer on PinterEnglish National Opera’s Drive & Live and Brian Johnson meets Dave Grohl.

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