Sky news update: At the start of this month, Sky launched their Sky Movies Christmas channel which exclusively shows back to back festive films.
Many homes in Britain will be feeling slightly less in the Christmas spirit this year after Sky bought the television rights to air a total of thirty Christmas films. Millions of homes, which have limited access to only terrestrial television, will no longer be able to watch family Christmas films such as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. At the start of this month, December 2013, Sky launched their Sky Movies Christmas channel which exclusively shows back to back festive films until the end of December. This means that 30 of the best loved Christmas films which have been shown on terrestrial television for decades will now be exclusive to Sky.
The most notable film to be snapped up by Sky is Elf starring Will Ferrell. It was first announced, via the social media sight Twitter that Elf would be exclusively shown on Sky on the 18th November of this year. The post caused uproar among Twitter users with many saying that by buying the rights to Elf, Sky had ruined their Christmas. Some users also stated that Sky had ruined a year tradition of watching Elf on terrestrial TV; Elf has owned a permanent Christmas slot on Channel 4 since 2007. In reality, those complaining could purchase the film on DVD and therefore be able to watch the family-favourite at their leisure, thus avoiding disappointment.
Since that year. Elf has been broadcast during a Sunday in mid-December, this annual showing usually averaged a viewing audience in the region of 6 million viewers across the country. Following the departure of Elf from Channel 4 thousands of members of the public, in protest, sat down at the same time and watched their own DVD copy of Elf and tweeted their way through it; averaging over 1,800 tweets a minute.
For some it has been the other films which have caused the upset. Miracle of 34th Street has been aired four times, in just over a decade, on either Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has also been shown consistently on different channels over the past decade. Many who cannot gain access to Sky were hoping that these, and other, films would be played again this year; however the fact that there is now little chance of them ever watching it again during the Christmas period on terrestrial TV has enraged them.
The claim that Sky has ruined Christmas however seems rather drastic. Thousands will still be able to see the classic Christmas films which have become traditions. There are also alternate films to be watched on terrestrial TV this year. Therefore Sky have not ruined Christmas but merely upset tradition which many of us have come to accept and love over the years.
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