New UK Channel Enough to Make NZ Mad Men Fans Cry With Envy

Mad Men fans impatient for its resumption on Prime can only look with envy towards the UK, where Sky TV is poised to launch an HD channel dedicated to outstanding US cable dramas.

Sky Atlantic HD will go live on February 1 and showcase premium US drama from the likes of HBO and Lionsgate, everything from new series (Mad MenBoardwalk Empire, Treme) to classics (The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under).

“Sky Atlantic HD will be such an incredible channel: seminal, world-class, epic TV all in one place,” says Stuart Murphy, the director of programmes Sky Atlantic HD.

“Unlike other broadcasters, Sky won’t hide these series in the twilight hours – we feel incredibly proud of this content and feel privileged to air it in peak time, in high definition, exclusively for all Sky customers.”

If only Sky in NZ had the foresight to offer such a service instead of merely adding mediocre SD channels.

As for when season four of Mad Men will start in NZ, the Sky-owned Prime has yet to confirm a date – which may delay the award-winner’s Blu-ray release here.

It’s scheduled for March in the US and Australia but may be later here if it hasn’t aired — in SD — on Prime by then.

Meanwhile, Prime is bringing back The Crowd Goes Wild into peak hour, at 6.30pm from January 17.

But MySky HDi subscribers should still suss it out later on Sky Sport 1 or 2 – the scheduling’s inconsistent but at least the madcap sports mag airs in HD on these channels.

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5 Responses to “New UK Channel Enough to Make NZ Mad Men Fans Cry With Envy”

  1. I read an article a month or two ago which said that Sky had announced they weren’t going to be showing season 4 on Prime, only on one of the Sky channels. Can’t find it now, but I’m pretty sure it was on the Herald website.

  2. As long as Sky has no competition on the pay TV front they will continue to serve up junk channels in SD..

  3. No, it’s definitely a Prime staple. Prime’s acquired it through its output deal with Lionsgate (which also provides Weeds). But now that Prime has built up a stable of more popular shows, it’s less reliant on signature but low-rating series like Mad Men. So season four is down on its list of priorities and when it does surface, expect it to air later rather than earlier in the night.

  4. That’s good – I have a co-worker who pointed the article out to me, very upset since she doesn’t have Sky, so she’ll be glad.

    In any case, the US Mad Men discs have never been region-locked, so if they are delayed here, it’s not like it will be difficult to get them from elsewhere.

  5. That’s quite true re US Blu-rays of Mad Men, and hopefully will be the case with season four — although it should be noted that the same distributor, Lionsgate, also offered the first three seasons of Weeds on region-free Blu-ray, but region-locked seasons four and five. Such are the vagaries of home video distribution …

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