JJB Sports launches digital TV channel

JJB Sports, the high street sports retailer, is understood to be launching a digital TV channel later this year.

JJB Sports TV is likely to show a mix of editorial sports programming and advertising, as well as offering viewers the chance to view and purchase sporting goods by mail order, the internet or via the telephone.

It is not known whether the new channel will replace Golf TV, also owned by JJB Sports, or be a standalone channel broadcasting alongside it.

The Wigan-based retailer bought Golf TV Group in May last year for £3.3m. The group operates The Golf Channel UK and The Golf TV Pro-Shop Channel.

Golf TV airs content such as the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), a programme called The Big Break and tuition shows that showcase the products available in stores.

The two dedicated golf channels are available in 8 million homes throughout the UK.

An accompanying website also offers a number of enthusiast clubs, the facility to purchase golf insurance, a variety of games including golf poker and the chance to watch programmes online.

The new channel comes after JJB Sports Plc, which includes sports shops and health clubs, reported "satisfactory" trading in the run-up to Christmas last year. For the 22 weeks to December 31 the company reported like-for-like sales up 6.3% on the year before.

The company operates 430 JJB Sports outlets nationwide, a number of combined health clubs and superstores, and several soccer centres.

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