Christmas channels are launching earlier this year, as companies seek to make the most of the run up in a critical year for retailers.
Sky, Virgin Media, Freeview and Freesat all host special themed channels in the three months up to the end of December.
Last year, dedicated Christmas movie channel GREAT! Movies Christmas launched on the 23rd September, becoming the first such channel to hit the airwaves in 2021. This year, Narrative Entertainment, operator of the GREAT! movies channels is planning to launch its Christmas movies channel on Thursday 8th September, 108 days before Christmas. It will remain on air until 2nd January, taking over the current slots of GREAT! Movies Classic.
Other seasonal channels usually include the music channels NOW XMAS and BoXmas. Movies 24 on Sky and Virgin Media usually flips to Christmas 24 in October.
The decision to try and bring forward launch dates has a serious commercial undertone. With the economy struggling and consumers needing to tighten their belts as energy prices rise, the industry is keen to get an early start to maximise advertising revenue. They expect consumers to spread the cost of buying presents over several months to help with budgets.
Updated 24/08/2022 10:53 with the latest confirmed dates.