Channel 4 to launch 4WorldDrama
Channel 4 is cashing in o n the popularity of subtitled shows like Borgen and The Killing by setting up a new channel dedicated to foreign drama.
The broadcaster will launch 4WorldDrama this autumn and is promising shows from " Czech political thrillers to Belgian murder capers, Argentine family sagas to German Cold War pieces".
More than 500 hours of TV will be available on demand on its digital site, All 4, and the best shows will be available first on More 4.
Scandinavian dramas, including The Bridge, The Killing and Borgen, have been critical and commercial hits for the BBC, while Channel 4 showed supernatural French drama The Returned.
Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham said: "We've seen from the response to titles like The Returned on Channel 4 that there's a real appetite for quality international drama from UK viewers - but only a small selection of foreign-language series have been able to get a UK broadcast partner.
"This new service will be a fantastic showcase for creative talent around the world and an innovative addition to All 4."
The broadcaster publis hed its annual report today, which showed its main channel's audience share dropped from 6.1% in 2013 to 5.9% last year while the share of all of its channels fell from 11% to 10.9% over the same period.
It also revealed that chief executive Mr Abraham received a total pay package worth £855,000 in 2014, while chief creative officer Jay Hunt got £ 581,000 including salary and pension benefits.
Writing in the report, Mr Abraham said: "Although Channel 4 main channel share is slightly down, we saw growth in audience share where it matters most and in ways that reflect our remit - in peak time and with 16-34s - up 2% at a portfolio level to reach record share levels of 17%.
"We also had a record year for E4, record VOD viewing at 587 million views and The Inbetweeners 2 was a huge UK box office hit grossing £33 million."