BITE Launches in the UK

BITE (or as the author will now type it, Bite), has launched in the UK via Channel Box, a streamed channel on the Freeview terrestrial platform.

Bite specialises in programmes around fresh food, and plans to launch on Rakuten TV and other platforms in due course.

Channel Box can be found on Freeview channel number 271, in the areas covered by the commercial multiplexes, offering coverage to around 90% of the UK population. Viewers will need to have their Freeview box or TV connected to the internet in order to access the service.

Multiplex Change for Shopping Quarter

Shopping Quarter, which as the names suggests is a shopping channel, has switched frequencies on Freeview.

The channel has moved from temporary multiplex COM7 to COM6 (Arqiva B). This expands the coverage area of the channel, and allows users of older standard definition equipment to view the channel.

A retune may be required if your equipment has not detected the change.

Correction: Shopping Quarter was in fact previously on the PSB3 (BBC B) multiplex. Although the move to COM6 has allowed non HD equipment to view the channel, coverage has reduced slightly.

Court TV Ends Freeview Transmission

Court TV, the specialist channel that broadcasts us trials and legal programmes, has stopped transmitting on the Freeview terrestrial platform. Although not publicised, it appears that the brief period of Freeview broadcasts was intended to showcase the Derek Chauvin trial, and transmissions on Freeview have ended as planned.

Court TV was broadcast on the temporary multiplex COM7, which only offered coverage to around 70% of the UK population. The frequency used to broadcast COM7 will be taken over by EE for 5G mobile phone services, although the date for this has not been confirmed.

Court TV continues to broadcast on satellite, via Freesat on channel number 177, and Sky on channel number 179. A live stream and on-demand content is also available on their website. An information slate now appears on Freeview channel number 89, ahead of final removal on the 22nd June (2021).

At the time of writing, Court TV are yet to remove references to the Freeview service from their website and social media feeds.

Channel Numbers Confirmed for GB News

The full set of channel numbers for GB News has now by confirmed.

On the Sky satellite platform, GB News will be on 515, aquiring that number from Nigerian news channel TVC News. On the Virgin Media cable platform, GB News will be on number 626. This is in addition to the already confirmed channel numbers 216 for Freesat, and 236 for Freeview.

On Freeview, GB News will be in standard definition, while on all other platforms the channel will be in high definition (HD) only. For satellite viewers, this means users of non-HD devices will be unable to watch GB News.

The channel will launch on Sunday 13th June at 8am, with special programming to mark the launch.

Sony Sells UK TV Channels

Sony, the Japanese electronics and entertainment company, has sold its portfolio of UK television channels to US investment firm Narrative Capital. The channels sold include the Sony Channel, Sony Movies, Sony Movies Action, and Sony Movies Classic which feature the Sony brand, and children’s channels Pop, Pop Max, and Tiny Pop.

The use of the Sony brand has not been included in the sale, and as such the Sony brand will be replaced with the Great! brand on the 25th May (2021). The Pop brand is expected to be retained, and the programme line-up is also expected to remain similar in the short term.

The current Sony branded channel line-up formed as recently as January 2020, when the True and Movies4Men brands were discontinued in favour of a rationalised channel line up under the unified Sony brand.

Now 70s and 80s Switch Places

Music channels Now 70s and Now 80s have swapped frequencies on the Freeview terrestrial platform. Now 70s has switched from the Greater Manchester (GMan) multiplex to the COM6 (Arqiva B) multiplex, with Now 80s making the opposite move.

As a result, Now 70s has increased its coverage area to most of the UK, with Now 80s restricted to the Greater Manchester area only.

The channel numbers have also changed, with Now 70s now on channel 76. Now 80s occupies a slightly higher position on the EPG, and can now be found on channel number 75.

GB News Channel Numbers

GB News, the upcoming new news channel, has now confirmed its channel numbers for Freesat and Freeview.

On Freeview, the channel will be on 236, below the current news channels, and is the COM6 multiplex which offers a coverage area of around 90%. The channel is broadcasting an information slate ahead of launch.

On Freesat, the channel will be on number 216, and will broadcast in HD. It is unclear whether a standard definition (SD) simulcast will be offered for those with older equipment. Like with Freeview, GB News will appear below existing news channels on the EPG.

Sky and Virgin Media channel numbers are yet to be confirmed. For Sky, GB News has the option of buying a channel number from an existing broadcaster, so may appear in a more prominent position on the EPG.

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.