Highflyer Group, a Yorkshire-based television company, is to launch a 24-hour channel devoted to minority sports after the London Olympics sparked a surge in interest in sports like judo and handball.
The channel, branded London Legacy, will make its debut in the autumn, showing 24 Olympic sports that “just don’t get enough sports coverage” on the major channels.
John Fairley, chairman of Highflyer Group, said the combination of a fall in production costs and an increase in interest in niche sports meant there was an “enormous opportunity” to make money from televising them.
London Legacy will focus heavily on athletics, gymnastics and judo, but handball, fencing, track cycling and wrestling will also receive substantial airtime. Coverage of championships will be mixed with programmes offering “masterclasses” or showing viewers how they can get involved.
The channel will initially launch on Sky and is also expected to expand on to other platforms in the future.