BBC Channel Changes

While I was away, it was confirmed that BBC Three is returning as a linear TV channel, to the Freesat, Freeview, Sky, and Virgin Media platforms.

CBBC will revert to its original finishing time of 7pm. BBC Three will feature a strand of programmes suitable for 13 to 18 year olds from 7pm to 9pm. The return of BBC Three is scheduled for early 2021.

Although frequencies are available for the return of BBC Three, the original channel numbers have been reassigned to other services. It has not been confirmed which numbers BBC Three will be given, but as a BBC service, it will be given priority for a low number high on the EPG.

BBC Four remains, but will become an archive channel, and will no longer receive new commissioned shows. Some live art programming will remain, as part of the cost reducing changes.

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.

Correction: Court TV Did Not Replace Together TV+1

Correcting the previous post, information from another source confirms that Court TV was added as an additional service to Freeview multiplex COM7, and did not replace Together TV +1.

Court TV can be found on Freeview channel no. 89, with Together TV +1 remaining on 83.

Further Update: Together TV +1 is currently broadcasting as a placeholder/information slate, and is not currently showing programmes. Full closure is a likely possibility.

Court TV Will be on COM7

Following the previous article, it has now been confirmed that Court TV will replace Together TV +1 on Freeview.

The channel, which joins Freeview tomorrow (15th February 2021), will be broadcast on the remaining temporary multiplex COM7. This means coverage will be restricted, with around 75% of UK households able to receive the channel.

Additionally, the COM7 multiplex uses the newer DVB-T2 standard, meaning only HD, YouView or Freeview Play devices can access the service.

In time, the channel may move to one of the permanent commercial multiplexes, which have an increased coverage of around 90%. Court TV is also available on the Sky and Freesat satellite platforms.

Integration Planned for Freesat and Digital UK

UK public service broadcasters BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 are planning to integrate Digital UK and Freesat. Digital UK facilitates the provision of Freeview TV services, whilst Freesat is the UK’s main subscription free satellite TV platform (not to be confused with the entirely separate Freesat from Sky).

This proposed move is intended to help ensure viewers continue to have access to a range of free to view TV platforms. Additionally, the move is also intended to help viewers benefit from technological innovations and developments across the two services.

The move requires regulatory approval, and should complete a few months after approval is given.

Court TV Joining Freeview

Court TV, which broadcasts US trials and other legal related programmes, is to join the Freeview terrestrial platform.

The channel, which launched initially on satellite, will be available on Freeview channel number 89 from the 15th February (2021).

Exact coverage is not yet known, as the multiplex has not been confirmed. However, regardless of the multiplex chosen, the addition of Freeview availability will help the channel to reach a greater number of households.

Freeview Changes

Further to the previous post, Drama +1 has now replaced CCXTV on terrestrial platform Freeview, retaining channel number 73.

Speculation was that CCXTV was created to allow for eventual transfer of what was Create & Craft’s high EPG number of 23 to another channel. While this does appear to have been the case, unlike Merit which allowed a high position to transfer from ITV to Sky, CCXTV ran a near full time service, and had an active presence on social media.

The channel re-numbers have also taken place, but are far more extensive than previously reported. The full changes are summarised below.

Channel New EPG No. Old EPG No. Multiplex
Now 70s 75 78 Greater Manchester
Now 80s 76 83 COM7
Now 90s 78 84 Greater Manchester
Clubland TV 79 82 Greater Manchester
Together TV 82 87 COM5
Together TV +1 83 88 COM7
PBS America 84 91 COM6
PBS America +1 87 93 COM7
Country Music Entertainment 88 98 Greater Manchester

CGTN License Revoked

UK regulator Ofcom has revoked the license held by Star China Media Limited (SCML) to broadcast Chinese news channel CGTN in the UK. They found SCML to be a distributor rather than provider, and as such had no editorial control over content so could not lawfully hold a license.

A license transfer to China Global Television Network Corporation (CGTNC) could not be processed as this was missing information. However, CGTNC is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, and as political bodies are prohibited from holding licenses, this transfer would have likely have been rejected.

For viewers, this means the channel is no longer available on EPGs UK in the, with CGTN previously being available via Freeview and Sky. However, satellite viewers can still manually tune in the channel, as CGTN is still being broadcast and is un-encrypted.

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).

Expected Freeview Changes

Although unconfirmed, the following changes are expected on the Freeview terrestrial service.

CCXTV, the entertainment channel from the owners of Create & Craft and Ideal World, is expected to close on or around the 1st February (2021). Drama +1 is expected to launch on this day, and may take CCXTV’s channel number.

PBS America is expected to move up the EPG to a new channel number. Currently on 91, the channel is expected to move to 84, but this would require Now 90s to move to vacate the number. PBS America +1 is also expected to move, from 93 to 87.

No frequency changes are expected, but a retune may still be required if and when these changes take place, in order for your device to show the changes.