The Movie Channel (Sky)

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


The Movie Channel was originally launched by British Satellite Broadcasting in March 1990, alongside BSB's other networks (Galaxy, The Sports Channel, The Power Station and Now/The Computer Channel). Following the merger of BSB and Sky Television to form BSkyB, The Movie Channel remained and was eventually launched on the Astra 1B satellite. The channel remained until 31 October 1997, and was rebranded as Sky Movies Screen 2 the following day.

1st ID (25 March 1990-15 April 1991)

Visuals: The camera moves upwards to the front of a cinema. Above, there is a florid statue holding the channel's squarial "M" logo. The camera pans to the statue, and then a light glow appears, where the text "THE MOVIE CHANNEL" appears below, with the BSB logo at the bottom right.

Later Variant: Beginning on 2 November 1990, after the merger of BSB and Sky, the text on the bottom of the logo was replaced with "BRITISH SKY BROADCASTING" to reflect the new owners.


  • At least three alternate idents were also created:
    • The first one starts at the bottom of the statue and then continues on as with the standard ident.
    • The second one starts at the head of the statue and zooms out to a position quite like a Dutch angle.
    • The third one starts at the right of the statue and then stops at the same position as the second variant.

Technique: CGI from Lambie-Nairn.

Audio: A drum roll, then a horn theme, ending with a bombastic fanfare take on BSB's tune.

2nd ID (15 April 1991-31 August 1993)

Visuals: There is a large neon outlined star rising up with some film reels. This is shown to be the frame of the structure where the words "THE MOVIE CHANNEL" appear while swirls surround the text. The footage then zooms out to reveal the standard British Sky Broadcasting banner from the time.

Trivia: Similar to the Sky Movies ident, this was also based on an ident used by NBC.

Technique: CGI from Pacific Data Images.

Audio: A majestic fanfare, then the announcer says "This is The Movie Channel, part of the British Sky Broadcasting network." after the logo finishes forming.

3rd ID (1 September 1993-31 October 1995)

Visuals: The Sky logo forms as with the other channels. However, once the logo forms, a purplish box appears with the words "THE MOVIE CHANNEL", with "THE" and "CHANNEL" in silver boxes and black font, and "MOVIE" in a Times New Roman-like font like the previous logo, but longer and thinner. Duplicates of "The Movie Channel" and silver swirls appear in the dark blue background once the logo forms. Searchlights shine the logo.

Technique: CGI. This was done by Novocom/GRFX.

Audio: A portion of the 1993 Sky Symphony, being all upbeat and happy-sounding. The announcer says "From the Sky satellite network, this is The Movie Channel".

4th ID (1 November 1995-31 August 1996)

Visuals: The standard Sky ID package used at the time. The Sky stripe is blue, and the silk background is a dark orange with a film reel canister behind it.

Technique: CGI done by Novocom.

Audio: A portion of the 1995 Sky Symphony, and an announcer saying "This is The Movie Channel, part of the Sky Television/Satellite network".

5th ID (1 September 1996-31 October 1997)

Visuals: The standard Sky ID package used at the time. It is the same as the Sky Movies ident except with "movies" replaced with "The Movie Channel", and the ident being a little darker.

Technique: CGI by Novocom.

Audio: Same as the Sky Movies ident.

The Movie Channel (Sky)
Sky Movies Screen 2
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