Channel Numbers Confirmed for GB News

The full set of channel numbers for GB News has now by confirmed.

On the Sky satellite platform, GB News will be on 515, aquiring that number from Nigerian news channel TVC News. On the Virgin Media cable platform, GB News will be on number 626. This is in addition to the already confirmed channel numbers 216 for Freesat, and 236 for Freeview.

On Freeview, GB News will be in standard definition, while on all other platforms the channel will be in high definition (HD) only. For satellite viewers, this means users of non-HD devices will be unable to watch GB News.

The channel will launch on Sunday 13th June at 8am, with special programming to mark the launch.

GB News Channel Numbers

GB News, the upcoming new news channel, has now confirmed its channel numbers for Freesat and Freeview.

On Freeview, the channel will be on 236, below the current news channels, and is the COM6 multiplex which offers a coverage area of around 90%. The channel is broadcasting an information slate ahead of launch.

On Freesat, the channel will be on number 216, and will broadcast in HD. It is unclear whether a standard definition (SD) simulcast will be offered for those with older equipment. Like with Freeview, GB News will appear below existing news channels on the EPG.

Sky and Virgin Media channel numbers are yet to be confirmed. For Sky, GB News has the option of buying a channel number from an existing broadcaster, so may appear in a more prominent position on the EPG.

Integration Planned for Freesat and Digital UK

UK public service broadcasters BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 are planning to integrate Digital UK and Freesat. Digital UK facilitates the provision of Freeview TV services, whilst Freesat is the UK’s main subscription free satellite TV platform (not to be confused with the entirely separate Freesat from Sky).

This proposed move is intended to help ensure viewers continue to have access to a range of free to view TV platforms. Additionally, the move is also intended to help viewers benefit from technological innovations and developments across the two services.

The move requires regulatory approval, and should complete a few months after approval is given.

Amazon Prime on Freesat and New Partnershipe With Sky

The Amazon Prime Video app is to be added to the latest generation of Freesat boxes, providing another way for Prime Video customers to access the service. New customers will be able to sign-up via the app, and receive a 30 day free trial. The addition will enhance the hybrid offering, which includes a large selection of free-to-air channels delivered via satellite.

Sky and Amazon have also unveiled a new partnership, which will see Prime Video added to Sky and Now TV devices across Europe, including the UK and Ireland. In a return move, Now TV will be added to selected Fire TV devices and Smart TVs.

This means that Sky customers will be able to access all Premier League football matches shown live via their Sky Q box, with matches from BT Sport, Prime Video, and Sky Sports all being available via the platform. However, to do this a subscription will be required to all three services, which may be a costly exercise.

ITV Regions Going HD on Freesat and Sky

All ITV regions will soon be available in HD (high definition) on the Sky and Freesat satellite platforms. The official launch of new regional HD service takes place on the Tuesday 20th October (2020).

This means a fully regionalised ITV HD service will soon be available to viewers in England, the Scottish Borders, and Wales. Until now, only some regions had a HD version of ITV on satellite.

As a result, ITV HD will move to the more prominent channel number 103 on HD compatible equipment.. On Freesat, ITV HD is currently on channel 111, whilst on Sky in regions with a HD feed ITV HD is on channel 176.

Viewers with older SD (standard definition) equipment will continue to find the SD version of ITV on 103.

BritBox Added to Freesat

The BritBox streaming service has been added to Freesat. The app is now available on the latest generation of 4K compatible receivers. Availability on older devices is not known.

An internet connection is required to use the app.

BritBox allows users to access archive and premium content from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 on-demand, for a monthly subscription.

Financial Difficulties at Information TV Lead to Channel Closure

Information TV, owned by now collapsed parent company Carlauren Group Ltd, has been in financial difficulties since 2019. This has now led to channel changes.

Sports channel Front Runner has now closed. The channel was home to Greyhound Racing, which has moved to Live 360. Live 360 is available on Sky channel 175, and can be streamed on compatible Freeview boxes via Vision TV on channel 264.

Meanwhile, sister channel Showcase TV is transitioning to new satellite capacity, and is currently unavailable on Sky and Freesat, but is expected to return. Showcase TV allows smaller, niche broadcasters to book out blocks of time on the channel, enabling part time broadcasting.

Retro Movies Removed from Satellite

Retro Movies appears to have stopped broadcasting on satellite. Although still listed on Sky and Freesat EPGs, the satellite feed has went ‘dark’ with no programmes or other content being broadcast.

According to website RXTV Log, Retro Movies is still available as part of Channelbox on Freeview 271, as a streamed channel on devices connected to the internet.

There has been no official word from Retro Movies. Their website (at time of publication) is still live, but the schedule doesn’t list any programmes beyond Friday 24th January.

Talking Pictures, Sony Movies Classic and TCM Movies are alternative channels for those wishing to view older films.

Freeview Changes

Newton TV Transmitter
Newton relay Freeview transmitter.

Discovery’s Quest +1 has changed frequency on Freeview, and is now broadcasting 24 hours a day. The timeshift of Quest now occupies space released by Sony following reductions in their TV portfolio. Viewers will need to retune in order to continue watching Quest +1 on channel number 76.

The move will allow arts and crafts channel Hochanda to broadcast 24 hours a day on Freeview channel 86, from the 2nd of October. Hochanda had been slot sharing with Quest since 2017, handing over to Quest at 7pm. On connected devices, Hochanda continued to be available as an online stream after 7pm.

Meanwhile, on Sky and Freesat, Ideal World is switching to HD broadcasts. Ideal World HD and sister channel Create & Craft HD will be available on the existing channel numbers. As the services are switching to HD, the old standard definition feeds will be switched off. This means users of old non-HD equipment will no longer be able to view these channels

New CBS on Demand Players for Freesat

The CBS AMC UK Channels Partnership has launched new on demand players on the Freesat platform. Horror Bites and CBS Catchup Channels UK allow viewers to view content from Horror Channel, CBS Reality, CBS Justice and CBS Drama through their compatible Freesat set top box.

Viewers can catch up on programmes for up to 30 days from when first broadcast on the linear channels. Box sets and CBS Reality original programming are also available to stream.

The CBS AMC UK Channels Partnership is a joint venture between AMC Networks International and CBS Studios International.