UKTV, part of the commercial arm of the BBC, have announced a name to be introduced during the summer of next year (2024). The name will also roll out to its streaming service and as a prefix to its channel line up.Continue reading UKTV to Rebrand in 2024
As covered in mainstream media, a high profile dispute between the BBC and Gary Lineker resulted in significant coverage to football coverage of the weekend (11th/12th March 2023). The dispute resulted from opinions expressed on the presenter’s personal social media account relating to current government policy.Continue reading BBC Football Coverage to Resume
ITV is to close it’s dedicated children’s TV channel in favour of moving content over to it’s new ITV X online streaming platform.Continue reading ITV to Close CITV
The UK Government have (for now at least), scrapped the controversial move to privatise Channel 4 Television (Channel 4)corporation, abandoning the plan put forward by former culture secretary Nadine Dorries.Continue reading Government Changes Direction With Channel 4
Freeview, the organisation which promotes and oversees terrestrial television in the UK has turned 20 years old. Terrestrial TV in the UK is home to around 80 channels (albeit not all are available in all areas).Continue reading Freeview Turns 20
Following acquisition of the Premier Sports TV channels earlier this year, Viaplay Group has confirmed the upcoming launch of its own branded content.
Premier Sports 1 and 2 will continue largely unchanged, but will be rebranded to Viaplay Sports 1 and 2 respectively. Both will continue to be available to subscribers largely on both Sky (satellite) and Virgin Media (cable). Freesports, currently free-to-air on satellite (albeit not on Freesat EPG), will become Viaplay Extra and will broaden its programming beyond sports. It is likely that rebranded Freesports will become encrypted, following a brief period of encryption observed earlier in the year.
The re-brands will occur on the 1st November, coinciding with the launch of Viaplay’s streaming platform in the UK. This will include two packages, Films & Series which will be focused on Nordic storytelling with Viaplay and third-party content, and Total which adds the full sports line-up. These are priced at £3.99 per month and £14.99 per month respectively.
UKTV, owned by BBC Studios, has unveiled improvements for on-demand streaming platform UKTV Play. The platform allows viewers to stream programmes from free-to-air channels Dave, Drama, W, and Yesterday, as well as premium channels Alibi, Eden, and Gold for BT TV, Sky, and Virgin Media customers with the relevant subscription.
From today (Wednesday 28th September), a new look has been introduced, including an new logo. From November, high definition (HD) content will become available, initially for new released programmes, but re-encoded back catalogue content will follow shortly after, where a HD master (original copy) is available.
What is slightly unclear is how this will affect BT TV, Sky, and Virgin Media in the longer term, as HD versions of the free-to-air channels remain exclusive to paying subscribers. Perhaps this a sign that HD may eventually become free-to-air on linear TV platforms such as Freesat in the near future.
UKTV Play is available on a number of devices; including mobile phones and tablets, Apple TV, Youview, Freeview Play devices and some Freesat receivers.
Sky have made improvements to its Sky Glass service, the dish free service based around its streaming TV.
The most significant change is the addition of 9 channels that had already been available on Sky’s satellite platform, but we’re absent when Sky Glass first launched. These are:
- Colors HD
- Colors Rishtey
- Colors Gujrati
- GB News
- NBC News Now
- Zee TV
- Zee Cinema
Where available, these channels will be HD by default.
Other improvements include the inclusion of YouTube within voice control functions, and a single login process for all BBC services such as BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds.
Sky have confirmed that its Irish operation is to launch Sky Glass in the Republic of Ireland, in just under a months time, on the 25th August (2022).
Sky Glass, already available in the UK, is based around a bespoke TV which streams channels via an internet connection, removing the need for a satellite dish or separate set-top box.
As is the case in the UK, the Sky Glass television will be available in three sizes; small (43 inch), medium (55 inch), and large (65 inch), and a variety of colours. Customers in the Republic of Ireland can already pre-register for Sky Glass.
Channel availability is likely to vary compared to Sky’s satellite service, and the full channel line up is yet to be confirmed.
Other developments will see Sky launch their Sky Mobile virtual mobile phone network next year (2023), and four flagship retail stores are also scheduled to open.
Amazon have announced significant increases in the cost of both monthly and annual subscriptions to its Amazon Prime service. In addition, to next day delivery for purchases made via the website, subscribers have other benefits including access to the Prime Video on-demand streaming service.
The changes take effect from 15th September (2022), and will see the monthly price rise from £7.99 to £8.99 a month, with the annual price rising from £79 to £95 a year. New customers will pay the higher price on this date, with existing customers facing the increase on the first renewal/roll over after this date.
This is the first increase in the price since 2014, and Amazon have blamed the increase on increased inflation and operating costs, and have not ruled out further increases.