Channel 4 have unveiled changes to their entertainment and music channel line-up, including an E4 spin-off, and a return to full-time music programming for 4 Music. The changes will take place on the 29th June (2022).
In a press release later followed by promotion on E4, Channel 4 have unveiled an new spin off channel, E4 Extra. E4 Extra will sit alongside the current main E4 channel, and will largely broadcast re-runs of comedy and entertainment shows. This includes acquired programmes such as The Big Bang Theory and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as well as Derry Girls and The Inbetweeners both produced originally for Channel 4. Legendary, the reality vogueing competition which explores ball culture in the USA, will also move to E4 Extra.
E4 Extra will actually replace 4 Music, currently available on terrestrial platorm Freeview (channel 31, 90% coverage on main transmitters only), cable platform Virgin Media (channel 337), and satellite platforms Sky and Freesat (channels 139 and 181 respectively). It is unclear what programmes E4 will be left with, but it would appear that E4 will focus on reality programmes such as Below Deck and Married at First Sight, as well as premiere showings of Hollyoaks.
4 Music itself will continue, and will in turn replace Box Hits, with the latter permanently closing.. 4 Music is currently a hybrid music and entertainment channel, but will revert to its original format of full time music videos. However, the channel will lose Freeview coverage, and will become available on satellite platforms Sky and Freesat (channels 354 and 501 respectively), and cable platform Virgin Media (channel 336).
The Box Plus portfolio (wholly owned by Channel 4), will reduce to the 5 channels (4 Music, The Box, Kerrang, Kiss, and Magic), although with the creation of E4 Extra the total number of Channel 4 owned channels remain unchanged.