Ex-Sky chief plans countryside TV channel

Former BSkyB marketing director Scott Menneer plans to develop a TV channel focusing on the countryside.

Menneer stepped down from his post at BSkyB in September so that he could devote time to the secret TV start-up project. He continues to work at BSkyB three days a week as on-air promotions director.

Menneer’s plans are at an early stage and it is understood that funding has yet to be finalised. Its launch could be more than a year away.

Channel content is also at the planning stage, but field sports, long-range weather forecasts, farming business and countryside issues are all topics that are likely to be covered.

Although countryside programming is generally considered to be a niche sector, it commands a loyal following that could be attractive to advertisers.

BBC2 has a long track-record when it comes to this type of programming and sparked a public outcry when it was reported that the future of One Man and His Dog was uncertain. The programme is to return to TV screens over the Christmas period, but long-term presenter Robin Page’s contract has not been renewed.

BBC2 also broadcasts Countryfile – the Sunday morning rural affairs programme presented by John Craven.

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