Sky backs Community Channel with £150,000 pledge – rescue operation takes step forward as deadline approaches.
Community Channel announced today that it had received a pledge from Sky to invest £150,000 to match fund other donations supporting its campaign to stay on air after the end of June.
The commitment from the company will help Community Channel achieve its target of raising an immediate £300,000 to enable it to continue its operation. Earlier this month it launched a crowd-funded community shares scheme to raise new funds and allow supporters to own the channel. With Sky’s pledge it has now raised two-thirds of its total and the deadline for the crowdfunding campaign has been extended from the end of June to the 17th of July.
Launched in 2000 by the Media Trust, the channel gives charities and community organisations the ability to mobilize and access millions of people. It tells great stories about the people that hold our communities together and often define who we are. Its programmes feature people from all the UK’s nations and regions. It is available free on Sky, Virgin and Freeview in 26 million British households.
From small beginnings, over ten million people watched last year – up by four million in four years – whilst over a million said they were motivated to volunteer.
Media Trust Chief Executive Caroline Diehl said “Sky has been a fantastic supporter from our earliest days and I am so grateful that it has dug deep once again to help us in this our hour of real need. I hope it will inspire other donors and investors whilst there is still time to save the channel.”
John Ryley, Head of Sky News, commented “The Community Channel initially launched on Sky and we have enjoyed and benefited from the partnership for more than fifteen years. I hope this pledge will encourage other broadcasters to help.”
Phil Geraghty, Managing Director of Crowdfunder said “The Community Channel is a great example of an industry coming together; broadcasters, film makers, charities and the crowd all see the value in this organisation and now they are getting together to ensure the channel has a bright and exciting future.
Communities are uniting across the UK for their own benefit – and here at Crowdfunder we are seeing a strong voice emerging through a variety of Community Shares from a broad sector, ranging from pubs, energy projects, sports clubs and heritage projects – and clearly, also, in the media industry itself.”
Lord (Michael) Grade, former BBC Chairman and Chief Executive of Channel Four, said “Britain would be a poorer place without Community Channel. It is unique in the world as a means of galvanizing support for so many communities and causes. I urge people to get behind the community shares scheme and continue to hope that, even at this late stage, a funding solution can be secured to keep it going now and for the long-term.”
- Head to the Community Channel project page for investment opportunities