Additional Premier League Games Pay Per View

It has now been confirmed that all Premiere League fixtures until the end of October will be available to watch, with five games a week available in a pay per view basis.

Existing arrangements and match selections with BT Sport and Sky Sports will remain in place. The matches not already selected for broadcast will be made available on the BT Sport Box Office and Sky Sports Box Office platforms.

This interim solution has been agreed by clubs, but does mean that there will be no more free to air live matches for the immediate future, although the BBC continues to show highlights.

BBC Sky Channel Number Changes

BBC Alba, the Gaelic TV service from the BBC and MG Alba, is has moved to a new channel number on Sky. BBC Alba will take over channel number 117, last used by the short lived STV2 service.

With Disney having withdrawn its linear children’s TV channels, CBBC and CBeebies has moved to vacated numbers 607 and 608 respectively. If you have a HD box, the SD versions are on 643/644, and vice-versa for older SD boxes

The number swaps took place on 1st October (2020). Viewers should not need to take action, as the changes will be made automatically.

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Additionally, the BBC News & BBC Sport connected TV apps with be withdrawn before the end of the year, as will the lottery and weather pages on connected TVs.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

BBC Remains Most Used Media Organisation

According to the BBC’s annual report from April 2019 to March 2020, the BBC is still the most used media organisation in the UK, with 41 million users a day.

90% of the population use the BBC each week, and this grew to 94% in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The BBC iPlayer recorded a record 4.8 billion requests to stream programmes during the period covered by the report.

All September Premier League Matches to Be Televised

With Covid-19 still forcing matches to be played behind closed doors, it has been confirmed that all September Premier League football matches will be shown live on TV.

Sky and BT Sport had already selected to show 17 matches, with a further 11 to also now be shown. Of these, Sky will show a further six, BT Sport will show a further three, with Amazon Prime and the BBC to show one each.

The BBC have confirmed that they will be showing Leicester City’s home fixture against Burnley, on 20th September (2020) with kick-off at 7pm.

It has not been confirmed if more Championship, League 1, and League 2 games will be televised.

Viewer Difficulties Following Re-tune

Following the Freeview re-tune event on 12th August (2020), as part of the clearance of frequencies for 5G mobile networks, the BBC is reporting that some viewers have hit difficulties.

Despite re-tuning, some viewers have been unable to restore all channels. The exact number of viewers affected is not available, but has been described as ‘many’. The areas and channels affected are also unknown.

Freeview, who oversee the terrestrial TV network in the UK, has said that anybody experiencing issues should contact them. The problem causing the issues is unknown.

Increase in iPlayer Demand

BBC’s iPlayer catch up and streaming service saw an increase in demand, with a record breaking number of viewers.

During January to June, 3.1 billion requests to stream programmes were made, an increase of 47% when compared with the same period the previous year.

April to June of this year saw 1.6 billion requests, marking a new best ever quarter. This is an increase of 59% compared to the same period in 2019.

iPlayer viewing had already increased prior to lockdown, with the first quarter (January to March 2020) seeing an increase of 34% compared to the same quarter in 2019.

New Director for BBC Scotland

Steve Carson has been appointed the new director of BBC Scotland, and will replace Donalda MacKinnon when she steps down later this year.

Steve Carson is currently the Head of Multi-Platform Commissioning for BBC Scotland, and is known for both content making and commissioning.

In his new position which he will take up in the Autumn, he will be responsible for leading 1100 staff who produce content across TV, radio, and digital platforms, in both Gaelic and English.

FA Cup Sets Viewing Record

The final of the FA Cup football tournament on August 1st (2020) between Arsenal and Chelsea was the most watched match of the season.

BARB data shows a peak of 8.2 million viewers watch the BBC’s coverage across all platforms, surpassing the 7.3 million for the semi-final match between Chelsea and Manchester United.

The top five most viewed football matches across the 2019-2020 season were all FA Cup games, and all were shown on the BBC.

Additionally, BT Sport also showed the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea, and as the viewing figures are only for the BBC’s coverage, the actual number of viewers of the match will be even higher.

Further BBC News Job Cuts

The BBC is to make a further 70 job cuts in its news service, increasing to 520 from the 450 job losses announced earlier this year.

The increase in the job losses are a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has increased the financial pressures on the BBC. The jobs cuts include senior management positions.

Most of the BBC News output is being retained, but more content is to be shared amongst programmes both locally and nationally.

However, some high profile shows including the Victoria Derbyshire programme have been axed, although Victoria does remain as a BBC News presenter.