Channel 4 to launch new 4Seven TV channel

4Seven will air shows based on social media popularity – so only the strongest will survive

Channel 4 has just announced that it will launch a new channel – its first in five years – called 4Seven. 4Seven's schedule will be decided by social media hubbub – if a show's getting a lot of online chat then it’ll be aired.

It’s essentially like running a TV channel using the ‘Most Popular’ category found when watching videos online – except that 4Seven will be on your telly. We imagine the print version of Radio Times is in a nightmarish daze right now as it tries to figure out how to lay out the listings for the new channel.

Still, it's the way of the future – since streaming video services like Netflix and Lovefilm are colonising our tellies, and Apple's sniffing around TV content in advance of its rumoured iTV, terrestrial broadcasters will have to take some tips from their online rivals to keep up.

When the channel launches in the summer on Sky, Virgin and Freeview we expect oodles of Hollyoaks and Big Fat Gypsy Wedding – according to their popularity online. Hmm, maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all.

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