Discovery+ Available on More Devices

Discovery+, the on-demand subscription service from Discovery, has been added to more devices, and is coming soon to others.

The service can now be found on Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TVs, in both the UK and Ireland. It has also been confirmed that the service will be added to Roku and Vodafone devices later in the year.

For Amazon Fire TV devices, the service is available through an app that can be downloaded from the app store. The app will be pre-installed on new Samsung TVs, and is a featured app on 2017 and newer Samsung Smart TVs. Compatibility with older Samsung Smart TVs is unconfirmed.

More Details Revealed on GB News

GB News, the proposed new news channel with backing from Discovery, will be on all major UK TV platforms, including terrestrial (Freeview including YouView based platforms), satellite (both Freesat and Sky), and cable (Virgin Media).

Infrastructure provider Arqiva has been selected to deliver the channel, and will oversee the launch and manage programme delivery. The channel should reach 96% of households in the UK.

A proposed launch date has not yet been revealed, but the channel is expected to launch this year (2021).

DPlay becomes Discovery+

Dplay, the catch-up service for Discovery’s free-to-air channels, will soon expand and become Discovery+.

Existing content remains free (ad-supported), with a new subscription tier added to allow live streaming and on-demand content for Discovery’s pay TV channels. The subscription will start at £29.99 per year for a limited time, rising to £49.99 (UK prices). A monthly option a £4.99 is also available.

Sky Q customers will get the service for 12 months at no extra cost, after which customers can have the service added directly to their Sky subscription.

Roll out is expected to start in November (2020), and the service will be available to both the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

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.

Dplay Replaces QuestOD

Dplay has become Discovery’s online platform for content from its free to air channels, replacing QuestOD.

Dplay combines content from Quest, Quest Red, Food Network and DMAX, along with that from recently acquired Home and Really. Home and Really on-demand content has now been removed from UKTV Play, the equivalent streaming service of their former owners.

Home is expected to rebrand as HGTV, but a date for this is yet to be confirmed.

More Channel Closures

AMC will become high definition (HD) only from Thursday, when the standard definition version of the channel on the Sky satellite platform will come to an end. A small number of viewers with non HD equipment will loose access to the channel. The HD version remains unchanged. Asian music service MTV Beats will also leave the Sky platform in the next week.

Over on the Virgin Media cable platform, standard definition versions of TLC, Quest, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Eurosport 1, and Eurosport 2  have been removed. Where the HD version of the channel was on a lower number, the channel has been promoted to the higher number. Some of the HD channels were on a higher subscription package, but these have been moved down to the former standard definition channels subscription tiers, so no viewers will lose access to the channels.

As all Virgin Media boxes in use are HD compatible, the standard definition versions of the channels were effectively redundant. No viewers will be impacted by the change.

Meanwhile, Your TV has closed on all platforms. The channel was free-to-air, and was acquired by Disney with the Fox business. Disney currently operated no free-to-air channels in the UK.

More HD Conversions and Channel Closures

AMC will become high definition (HD) only from Thursday, when the standard definition version of the channel on the Sky satellite platform will come to an end. A small number of viewers with non HD equipment will loose access to the channel. The HD version remains unchanged. Asian music service MTV Beats will also leave the Sky platform in the next week.

Over on the Virgin Media cable platform, standard definition versions of TLC, Quest, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Eurosport 1, and Eurosport 2  have been removed. Where the HD version of the channel was on a lower number, the channel has been promoted to the higher number. Some of the HD channels were on a higher subscription package, but these have been moved down to the former standard definition channels subscription tiers, so no viewers will lose access to the channels.

As all Virgin Media boxes in use are HD compatible, the standard definition versions of the channels were effectively redundant. No viewers will be impacted by the change.

Meanwhile, Your TV has closed on all platforms. The channel was free-to-air, and was acquired by Disney with the Fox business. Disney currently operated no free-to-air channels in the UK.

Streaming Service Updates

Here is a summary of some changes which are taking place on online streaming services.

Freesports is joining the STV Player service, and will be available as a 24 hour online stream. For next 3 years, STV will be the exclusive advertising sales agent for Premier Sports’ online subscription services.

Now TV are implementing price increases this month. Most passes are affected, with the Sky Sports Day Pass rising by £1 to £9.99.

The sports streaming and on-demand service Eurosport Player is to arrive on Amzon Fire devices, as part of a collboration between Amazon and the channel’s owner Discovery. Amazon Fire TV, Fire tablets and Echo Show devices will be able to access the service across Europe.

And finally…

Amazon’s Prime streaming service crashed yesterday, affecting access to the US Open tennis competition. Services were restored by early evening.

Good Food to Close

Page last updated on October 16th, 2019 at 12:55 pm

Former UKTV channel Good Food is to close, with its shows to be merged into the Food Network UKchannel. Good Food is currently a pay TV channel, whilst Food Network is a free-to-air channel on all major TV platforms.

Good Food was acquired by Discovery earlier this year, along with Really and Home when UKTV was split between the BBC and Discovery. Home is to become a UK version of Discovery’s HGTV (Home and Garden TV) channel. Really continues for the time being.

Good Food will close during the night o 13th to 14th September.

UKTV/Discovery Number Shuffle Part 2

As expected, Quest has now inherited the number 12 slot on Freeview, previously used by Dave and briefly Home. Home can now be found on number 42, whilst DMAX has now been promoted the channel 37, the old number for Quest.

Viewers who receive these channels may need to retune for the channels to move to their correct positions. Some receivers will make these changes automatically.