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Sky to scrap Lifestyle EPG genre and move channels to Entertainment

Lifestyle channels are to be rehabilitated into the Entertainment category of the onscreen Sky Guide after several years in the EPG ghetto.

It means you won’t have to scroll as far down the guide to access around 20 channels previously listed as Lifestyle, such as UKTV’s Really, Scripps’ Food Network and Horse & Country TV.

These channels will join terrestrial channels and digital networks including Sky One, MTV and TLC, while redundant channels will be removed from the programme guide to make space for new arrivals.

The Lifestyle category will cease to exist when Sky merges the genre with Entertainment
The Lifestyle category will cease to exist when Sky merges the genre with Entertainment

Richard Burdett, managing director of Horse & Country TV told TV industry publication Broadcast: “It’s a real opportunity for us because we’re going to be in a place where’s there’s much more chance of accidental discovery. There are many more people who are likely to browse through the entertainment package.”

The move will begin on August 19, along with small changes in other genres to tidy up listing numbers and move other channels into the most relevant category.

Many of the channels will get new numbers as a result of the removal of closed down channels, so before punching in the number for your favourite TV channel, check it still exists using the EPG.

The Lifestyle section was introduced several years ago to cater for a surge in ‘real people doing real stuff’ channels, but networks like Discovery increasingly used it to separate male-focused channels into Entertainment and female-oriented channels into Lifestyle.

With the ‘real people’ genre now dominating factual channels like Nat Geo, there’s less need for a prt of the Sky Guide which has been seen as a ghetto that discourages viewers.

Sky introduced its new-look EPG back in March, with a tile-like interface that gives the same level of importance to Sky+ recordings and on-demand downloads as it does to live TV channels.

The search function has also been updated, allowing you to search through the whole Sky guide for content rather than by section.

Sky hasn’t yet announced when it will be moving the Lifestyle channels to their new home in the Entertainment category, but we assume you’ll have to update the firmware on your Sky box for the changes to take effect.

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