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.

Pop Player Now on Freeview Play

This story happened in November, but has escaped my attention until now.

On the 17th November (2020), Pop Player launched on most Freeview Play devices connected to the internet.

The new player provides on-demand content from Sony’s three children’s channels; Pop, Pop Max, and Tiny Pop. The player can be accessed via the portal on channel 100, or the Freeview Play button.

From launch, Humax 4000/5000t and LG devices were not compatible with the service.

Freeview Channel Number Shuffle

Some channels have changed number on Freeview. Although no channels have moved frequency, some equipment may require a retune for the changes to become visible (you may need to reset series recordings).

Starting with CCX TV, this channel has moved from 23 to 73. Dave Ja Vu (Dave +1) has made a similar move in the opposite direction, replacing CCX TV on 23, moving from 79.

A further 3 channels have made smaller moves. Jewellery Maker moves from 73 to 71. Shopping Quarter moves from 74 to 72, allowing Yesterday +1 to move from 75 to 74.

None of these changes appear to be as a result of a change in channel ownership, but Dave Ja Vu may give way to allow another UKTV owned channel to move to higher position in the EPG.

Premiere League Scraps PPV

The English Premier League has scrapped the pay per view (PPV) set up for additional football matches that would not otherwise be shown on TV, but are being made available due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most additional matches will now be shown on Sky Sports or BT Sport. A notable exception is Fulham v Everton which will be shown on the BBC, and will kick-off at 12pm on the 22nd of November.

The PPV service was criticised for being too expensive. Some clubs also criticised the cost, with Newcastle United suggesting a much lower £4.99 per match fee.

The situation will be reviewed in the new year, and highlights will continue to be available on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme.

Note: This story now falls outside of the scope for news articles on All About Digital TV, but has been included as a continuation of previous stories.

That’s TV Goes Festive

That’s TV, a network of 20 local and regional TV stations has temporarily become That’s Christmas. The seasonal service is offering a festive mix of classic drama and music.

That’s TV has recently become a music led service, maintaining local news and information during weeks, albeit in reduce amounts compared to when the channel first launched. Music is from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, with the channel found in some areas on Freeview, either on channel number 7 or 8.

This format appears to be successful, as in October 2020, the combined network attracted 4 million viewers. This is it’s highest ever reach, with the channel currently the most popular music based TV channel in the UK.

Major Freeview Channel Number Changes

To allow for BBC Four to move to channel number 24 in Scotland, as per Ofcom requirements, many channels are about to change channel number.

On the 4th November (2020), all channels currently with a number between 24 and 54 inclusive, will move down 1 slot. Affected channels include ITV4 which moves from 24 to 25, and E4 +1, which moves from 28 to 29.

Additionally, as of 27th October, some channels move to a higher number. ITV Be +1 makes the highest move, from 97 to 57. Horror Channel moves from 70 to 68, which Quest +1 and Quest Red +1 also moving to 69 and 70 respectively (from 76 and 72).

As no channels are changing frequency, a re-tuned is not automatically required, although some receivers may need a full or partial re-tune to update the channel numbers.

ITV’s The Voice Resumes

Signing competition The Voice, one of many high profile shows to stop filming due to Covid-19, is making its return on the 3rd October (2020).

The entire series so far is being made available on catch-up service ITV Hub, with a special catch-up show to air ahead of the semi-final and final, later this month on ITV.

The semi-final and final will be pre-recorded in the coming weeks, and will feature a virtual audience.

BBC Red Button Service to Continue

The BBC will now continue the text based Red Button information service. However, there will be further reductions in the content available.

From November 2020, Lottery results will no longer be available on the Red Button. From mid 2021, English regional sport pages and individual sports’ headlines (except football and those on the main sport pages) will be removed. National sport indexes for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales, will be retained alongside all sport fixtures and results.

Additionally, the BBC News & BBC Sport connected TV apps with be withdrawn before the end of the year, as will the lottery and weather pages on connected TVs. Video content on these apps will be moved to the iPlayer.

GB News to Challenge Sky and BBC

Andrew Neil, a former BBC journalist and broadcaster, is to launch a new 24 hour news channel called GB News. The channel will rival long established BBC News and Sky News, and will be on all major platforms, although exact platform availability is yet to be revealed.

Andrew Neil has been appointed chairman, and will also host a flagship programme. The management team will also include Angelos Frangopoulos (ex Sky Australia) and John McAndrew (ex Sky News).

Discovery has been named as the lead investor of the channel, which is expected to launch in 2021.