News

CGTN to Resume UK Broadcasts

Following the Ofcom licence revocation, Chinese international news channel CGTN will resume broadcasts in the UK.

An agreement pre-dating the European Union allows TV channels licensed in France to broadcast in the UK.

As CGTN has such a license, it will resume UK broadcasts in due course, once prepartions have been made to uplink the channel from France, a requirement of the licence.

Unlike the UK France does allow state controlled TV channels, but like the UK still regulates the output of the channel. This means CGTN could find itself back in trouble, if it does not stick to the rules in France.

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.

Website Updates

A new job, house move, and at times lack of internet have largely prevented updates over the past few weeks, and will also mean a reduced number of updates for a few weeks yet.

Thankfully, major news stories have been few and far between. One that has been missed is the return of BBC Three to TV platforms. BET, owned by ViacomCBS, makes the opposite move, going online only.

I’ll do a summary of these in due course, along with a couple of DAB related stories. While offline, I’ve put together some reviews of digital stations. These will also be published shortly, but scores on the doors include 4/10 for Boom Radio, and 7/10 for Union Jack Dance.

I hope you continue to find the website enjoyable, and thanks for reading.

 

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.

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).

Tit for Tat Move from China

Following Ofcom revoking CGTN’s license to broadcast in the UK, China has made a similar move against BBC World News, banning the channel from broadcasting in China.

Despite this, BBC World News is not widely available in China, except in some hotels. China has accused the BBC’s news coverage in China as being untruthful and unfair, claims which have been refuted by the BBC.

The move appears to be ‘tit for tat’, and is a sign of worsening tensions between the UK and China. Hong Kong’s RTHK government broadcaster has also removed the BBC World News channel.