Sony Crime ditches drama as channel downgraded

Less than 18 months after launching with great fanfare, Sony's Crime Channel is being downgraded.

From 1st July 2019, the channel's output will be reduced to reality crime programming, with crime dramas CSI, Hustle and The Glades dropping out of the schedule. The channel launched in February 2018 with a large emphasis on crime-related drama, including the free-to-air premiere of Orange is the New Black. But viewing figures for the channel have remained low, and last month it lost its national Freeview slot.

Effectively, the channel will absorb the type of 'real-life' crime factual programming that previously had a home on the short-lived Sony Crime 2 and the also short-lived True Crime channel, also operated by Sony.

Ahead of the changes, Sony has withdrawn the channel from Freesat, where it was available on channel 143. It's also been downgraded to a Manchester-only service on Freeview channel 60.

Sony Crime is set to continue on Sky and Virgin Media only, where the channel originally replaced entertainment service Sony Channel last year.