Skai TV is a Greek free-to-air television network based in Piraeus. It is part of the Skai Group, one of the largest media groups in the country. It was relaunched in its present form on 1st of April 2006 in the Athens metropolitan area and gradually spread its coverage nationwide. Besides digital terrestrial transmission, it is available on the subscription-based encrypted services of Nova and Cosmote TV.
Skai TV is also a member of Digea, a consortium of private television networks introducing digital terrestrial transmission in Greece. At launch, Skai TV opted for dubbing all foreign language content into Greek, instead of using subtitles. This is very uncommon in Greece for anything except documentaries (using voiceover dubbing) and children's programs (using lip-synced dubbing), so after intense criticism, the station switched to using subtitles for almost all foreign shows.
Skai TV was first launched on 21 September 1993 with an emphasis in news and sports. However, on 26 September 1999, it was sold and the new owners gradually rebranded it as Alpha TV. The new station had an entirely different programming perspective and opted for a more mainstream profile, soon managing to become one of the top three TV stations in Greece.
On 1 April 2006, the company who originally launched Skai TV bought Seven TV, a holder of a Greek National broadcasting license that failed to expand its coverage all over the country or attract a wide audience. The station was renamed to 'Skai TV' allowing the brand to re-emerge on the Greek television scene after 7 years, but this time the owners decided to forgo their previous approach and opted for high-quality foreign shows and valid news coverage.
On 6 September 2007, Skai TV was added to the lineup of NOVA Greece digital platform. On 2 March 2016, Skai TV launched its own high-definition feed. On 2 September, the network won one of four national television licenses auctioned in Greece after Iannis Alafouzos paid €43.6 million in a highly unusual competitive bidding process.
Skai TV has made a pioneering appearance in international airwaves, being the first non-subscription TV station worldwide to use solely digital technology thus being completely tapeless. It uses the SONAPS network broadcast system made by Sony and installed by British company VSC Design. The system is considered by the former as a showcase example of the system. Skai also uses Harmonic Spectrum servers for Playout together with IBIS automation.
Skai TV is also the first station in Greece to broadcast its full program in 16:9 format.
Skai TV airs a diverse programming mix with a focus on entertainment and information. Programming includes comedies, dramas, current affairs shows, documentaries, and sports.
Foreign programs originally made up the bulk of Skai TV's schedule but in recent years it has begun producing an increasing amount of original programs which now comprise a third of the schedule. It has programming alliances with popular foreign networks including National Geographic, Discovery Channel and the BBC and a large part of its schedule features recent and past-years documentaries.
There is also a Greek dubbed BBC World News news bulletin following the station's own news bulletin and a news-themed morning show.
Skai TV also shows some friendly matches of Panathinaikos FC when these friendlies are not on any of the Premium Services (Either Cosmote TV or Nova Sports).
Current shows include:
- The Voice - the greek version of The Voice Series, in its 5th Season. Presented by Giorgos Kapoutzidis, the judges are Elena Paparizou, Sakis Rouvas, Panos Mouzourakis, & Maraveyas ilegál.
- Greece's Got Talent (Ελλάδα Έχεις Ταλέντο) - the greek version of Got Talent, in its 6th Season. The host is Giorgos Lianos. The judges are Maria Bakodimou, Giorgos Kapoutzidis, & Sakis Tanimanidis.
- Survivor - the greek version of Survivor Series, in its 7th Season. The location of the Series is in La Romana, Dominican Republic. The 7th season they made a special edition, a collaboration with Turkey, on Turkey's 13th season, Survivor: Greece vs. Turkey. The Hosts on the Greek Side are Giorgos Lianos & Sakis Tanimanidis (from the island), while from Greece its Mpagia Antonopoulou.
- Chef ston Aera (Chef on air) - Cooking show offering viewers quick, simple & economical recipes.
- Gefsis Sti Fysi (Taste in nature) - Cooking show, featuring dishes made with fresh & local ingredients.
- Goal Horis Synora (Goals without borders) - Analysis and highlights of all the weekend soccer matches from across Europe, hosted by Panos Voglis. Airs Saturdays at 12 pm.
- Greece-Hands on (Stin Praxis) - weekly informative program focusing on passionate Greeks who, despite Greece's economic crisis, dare to innovate and excel in different fields (culture, technology, sciences, voluntary matters, etc.). Hosted by Sylvia Klimaki. Airs every Sunday at 12.30pm.
- Kalimera Skai - Morning show for weekends, hosted by Giorgos Autias.
- Live - Lifestyle show that seeks to inform and entertain viewers on a variety of topics including current affairs, the environment, culture, technology, and health. Hosted by Eva Antonopoulou. airs daily at 3 pm.
- Oi Neoi Fakelloi (The New Folders) - Weekly current affairs program with a focus on investigative reports, exclusive interviews & personality profiles. This award-winning series is now in its 9th season. Hosted by Alexis Papahelas, Tasos Telloglou & Sofia Papaioannou.
- Proti Grammi (First line) - Morning show with the latest headlines, sports news, weather conditions, entertainment and more. Hosted by Vasili Lyritzi and Dimitri Oikonomou, airs Monday – Friday at 6 am. (The show previously aired on NET).
- Sabbatokyriako Me Drasi (Sunday with action) - A look back at the top headlines from the week that past. Hosted by Spiros Mallis. Airs Saturdays & Sundays at 10 am.
- Tora (Now) - Current affairs program that keeps viewers informed of the latest headlines from Greece and around the world. Features live reports from around the country and analysis of issues that affect everyday people, such as economic matters, health concerns and more. Hosted by Anna Bousdoukou, airs daily at 10 am.
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