On demand content access has improved significantly in recent years, so I thought it would be useful to evaluate if there is a point to keeping these channels.
+1 channels of the likes of ITV and Channel 4 were established to allow viewers to catch a show that they might have just missed the start of. They have historically also been used as placeholders, pending the launch of new channels. They can be found on all major TV platforms, including Freeview.
Subsequently, nearly all TV channels have developed an on demand platform. These allow viewers to catch up on missed programmes for between 7 and 30 days (sometimes longer) after they were first broadcast. Well known catch up services include BBC iPlayer and My5.
Despite this, many +1 channels still exist. For those with recorder boxes which can only record 2 programmes at one time, the +1 channels can assist with reducing scheduling conflicts. However, as programmes are often repeated several times, there are ways around such an issue without +1 channels.
With advances in 4G and 5G mobile data, catch up services are become more accessible to smartphones and tablets. Arguably, this further reduces the need for +1 channels, as TV programmes can be accessed from any location.
Ironically, Freeview frequencies are being reallocated to 5G. Therefore, many +1 channels are likely to have to make way to ensure all channels can continue to broadcast. This means, on Freeview at least, +1 channels are unlikely to stay much longer.
I can’t find a particular need for +1 channels, and while they can at times be useful, I would rather see the space occupied by these channels put to better use.