Holy Soap! Five Launches New Soapy Site
Broadcaster Five have stepped into the BBC’s shoes by launching a soap news website. The new service called Holy Soap aims to bring all the latest UK soap news from all broadcasters, including ITV and Channel 4.
From today Holy Soap will be the new official online home of Five’s cornerstone line-up of Australian soaps Neighbours and Home & Away. It replaces the two programmes’ previous stand alone websites. Full episodes of Neighbours and Home & Away will be available to watch on the site the same day they are broadcast on Five. It will also contain comprehensive news and gossip about all of Britain’s biggest soaps including Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks.
The BBC’s Pure Soap was discontinued after a government review of the BBC found that the site may harm ‘commercial rivals’ despite the fact, up until now, there has never been another site quite like Pure Soap [pictured below, right]. It should be noted the BBC’s sport version was allowed to continue!
Holy Soap features include up to 30 days worth of full episodes of Home and Away and Neighbours as well as preview videoclips, episode guides for the next seven days on all soaps, cast and character profiles as well as interviews and photo galleries.
Five’s Head of Digital Media, Jonathan Lewis, said:
“We’re not precious. We know that soap fans have voracious appetites and that many of the same people who love Neighbours and Home & Away love the soaps on the other channels too. So it makes sense to create a destination where individuals can share their love of all the big soaps on TV. And who knows? We may drive some Corrie fans or EastEnders aficionados to rediscover the joys of Five’s Aussie soaps too.”
The new site is the latest extension into vertical categories for Five’s Digital Media Group. It follows the launch of Five Fwd, a cars and gadgets portal for young men that features full episodes of The Gadget Show and Fifth Gear. The broadcaster will soon unveil a cricket-related micro site to host its exclusive video coverage of the Ashes series.
The Digital Media Group also manages Demand Five, Five’s catch-up TV service. Demand Five, which launched in July 2008, delivers around two million long form video streams per month, including many of Five’s most popular programmes.
The new service from Five can be found at: http://www.five.tv/holysoap