That’s 60s For Valentines

Apologies for the delay in this post due to personal commitments.

Over the Valentines weekend of February 13th/14th, music service That’s TV re-branded as That’s 60s for the occasion, temporarily flipping to an advert free format of 60s music.

Traditionally showing music videos from the 1970s and 80s, the channel is introducing music from the 40s, 50s, and 60s for the first time, alongside local news provision.

Localised versions of That’s TV are available in some areas on Freeview channel 7 or 8, with national streamed version of the channel available on the Vision TV portal on channel number 264.

BT to Drop Several Channels

BT TV, the YouView powered hybrid terrestrial and IPTV platform, is to drop several channels from its Classic Entertainment pack. This is expected to be a complete removal, with the channels to also be removed from legacy packages.

On the 1st March (2021), the following channels will be removed (including HD versions):

  • Crime+Investigation
  • Sky History
  • Sky History2
  • Vice

On the 1st April (2021), the following channels will be removed (including HD versions):

  • Syfy
  • E! (including HD version)

A reason for the removal is yet to be confirmed.

End of Life for Lifetime

Premium channel Lifetime will leave the Sky, Virgin Media, and Youview powered platforms in the UK and Ireland, as the channel is closing at the end of the month.

Two sources offer different closure dates, with Media Mole suggesting 28th February (2021) in the headline but contradicting itself with March 1st in quote. TV Channel Lists opts for March 1st. A closure in the early hours of 1st March is most likely, meaning the 28th February should be the last full day of broadcasts.

Lifetime is owned by A&E Television Networks, and replaced The Biography Channel seven years ago. With a BARB average audience share of just 0.03%, the channel has struggled to attract an audience, lagging behind sister channels including free to air Blaze (0.29%), and premium channels Sky History (0.22%) and Crime+Investigation (0.16%).

The other channels will remain, with Lifetime content expected to be accommodated on the other channels. In other parts of the world, Lifetime continues to be available in Poland and Africa, although the outlet in Malta is also closing.

Screenshot of Media Mole article offering contradicting closure dates (click to view full size).

Discovery+ Available on More Devices

Discovery+, the on-demand subscription service from Discovery, has been added to more devices, and is coming soon to others.

The service can now be found on Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TVs, in both the UK and Ireland. It has also been confirmed that the service will be added to Roku and Vodafone devices later in the year.

For Amazon Fire TV devices, the service is available through an app that can be downloaded from the app store. The app will be pre-installed on new Samsung TVs, and is a featured app on 2017 and newer Samsung Smart TVs. Compatibility with older Samsung Smart TVs is unconfirmed.

More Details Revealed on GB News

GB News, the proposed new news channel with backing from Discovery, will be on all major UK TV platforms, including terrestrial (Freeview including YouView based platforms), satellite (both Freesat and Sky), and cable (Virgin Media).

Infrastructure provider Arqiva has been selected to deliver the channel, and will oversee the launch and manage programme delivery. The channel should reach 96% of households in the UK.

A proposed launch date has not yet been revealed, but the channel is expected to launch this year (2021).

BBC Sounds App Added to Sky Q

A new app has been added to the Sky Q connected satellite platform. BBC Sounds allows users to access live radio, music mixes, playlists, and podcasts produced by the BBC.

The app is now available to all Sky Q customers, and can be launched using the voice control remote by saying “Launch BBC Sounds”.

Among the functions of the app is the ability to pick up where they left off on other devices. Users can subscribe to shows so they don’t miss an episode, and bookmark their favourites.

The deal expands on existing collaboration between the BBC and Sky, which saw iPlayer launch on Sky Q towards the end of 2019.

African Movie Channel Added to Channelbox

Channelbox, the streaming portal available on Freeview devices connected to the internet, has welcomed African Movie Channel to its line-up. It is the first channel of its type to launch on Freeview.

African Movie Channel operates 24×7, showing award-winning Nollywood movies, alongside the best movies from other parts of the African continent. This includes movies produced by its in house production company, AMC Original Productions, or AMCOP.

Channelbox can be found on Freeview channel 271, on compatible Freeview devices with an internet connection. Due to the way the Channelbox portal is broadcast, the service has a limited coverage area, and is not available to those who receive a relay service.

African Movie Channel is currently exclusive to Channelbox and Freeview, and is not yet available on other platforms.

Ski TV Launches in UK

First launched in Australia, winter sports channel Ski TV has launched in the UK, becoming the first sports channel on the Channelbox platform.

Channelbox is portal accessible on compatible Freeview TVs and set top both connected to both an aerial and the internet. This can be found by navigating to channel 271, and provides access to news, movies, music and entertainment channels in a variety of languages.

All channels on Channelbox, including Ski TV, are available for free. It is unknown if Ski TV will join other platforms.

Amazon Prime on Freesat and New Partnershipe With Sky

The Amazon Prime Video app is to be added to the latest generation of Freesat boxes, providing another way for Prime Video customers to access the service. New customers will be able to sign-up via the app, and receive a 30 day free trial. The addition will enhance the hybrid offering, which includes a large selection of free-to-air channels delivered via satellite.

Sky and Amazon have also unveiled a new partnership, which will see Prime Video added to Sky and Now TV devices across Europe, including the UK and Ireland. In a return move, Now TV will be added to selected Fire TV devices and Smart TVs.

This means that Sky customers will be able to access all Premier League football matches shown live via their Sky Q box, with matches from BT Sport, Prime Video, and Sky Sports all being available via the platform. However, to do this a subscription will be required to all three services, which may be a costly exercise.

Massive Price Hike for Disney+ Users

Subscribers to Disney+, the on-demand streaming platform for Disney owned content, are to face a massive price hike in 2021.

From the 23rd of February, the UK price will increase by around a third, from £5.99 a month to £7.99 a month. The annual price will become £79.90.

This is despite the platform extending Disney’s own expectations, reaching 86.8 million worldwide subscribers, since the roll-out which began in 2019 and reached the UK earlier this year.