All Around the World Productions (AATW), who broadcast 4 music video channels using the Now and Clubland brands, have changed their line-up. Following the temporary festive music service which replaced Now 90s over the Christmas and New Year period, instead of reverting to Now 90s, a new Now Rock channel was launchedin its place.Continue reading Now Rock Launches
A large number of Freeview changes are happening, either on the 29th or 30th June (2022). I hope that this article will be a round up of them all, but there may be changes to what’s planned.
As already mentioned, 4 Music will switch over to E4 Extra on the 29th. See the previous article for more details. On the same date, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD will be added to the PSB3 (HD/DVB-T2) multiplex, and will become available to those who receive signals from a relay transmitter for the first time. Quest Red +1, Together TV, and That’s TV (UK version) will also move, but to permanent commercial multiplexes. Not all viewers will be able to receive these channels, but the channels will benefit from improved coverage. The placeholder for Craft Extra on channel 95 will also be removed.
The following day sees the second part of the changes. Now 80’s will reduce coverage to being available in Manchester only (on the Greater Manchester multiplex). CBS Drama will rebrand to Reality Extra (see previous article, and will also reduce coverage by moving to the COMUX multiplex which is used to broadcast locally licensed TV services.
Also on the 30th, That’s TV will change channel number, and will take over channel number 65 from Freesports, as that channel is leaving Freeview. Sister channel That’s Music will increase coverage (presumed to be also moving to a commercial multiplex), and will move up slightly, from channel 92 to 91.
Freesports has opted to leave Freeview entirely, and will rely predominantly on Sky and Virgin Media, but is also available free-to-air on satellite, so can be manually tuned into Freesat and other satellite receivers. CBS Justice is closing entirely, and will not be replaced on Freeview (but is becoming Legend on other platforms). Forces TV is closing on all platforms, and will no longer be available.
BBC News HD, QVC HD, QVC Beauty HD, Quest HD, and More 4 +1 will also leave Freeview on the 30th, but will remain on other platforms (where applicable). Standard versions also remain available on Freeview. PBS America +1 (itself only available on Freeview), will close, but it is understood that the normal version of the channel will be extending its broadcast hours.
The above is not exhaustive, and other changes may be made, triggered by the closure of the temporary multiplex COM7. If you can live without some channels for a few hours, re-tune once from around late morning onwards on the 30th to capture all of the changes. If you receive signals from a relay transmitter, re-tune on the 29th, as you will be only affected by the changes on this day (and you only need to re-tune if you have a HD compatible device).
You may need to re-set your scheduled recordings, so may a note of any programmes you has set to record before re-tuning. Consult your device instructions/handbook or manufacturer if you are unsure of how to re-tune.
The temporary terrestrial (Freeview) multiplex COM7 is set to close in June, to allow for the frequencies to be used for mobile phone networks. The frequency is one of those in the 700 MHz band that has now largely been cleared for %G mobile phone use, with the closure of COM7 to complete the process.
This will mean some Freeview viewers will lose some channels. I say some, as COM7 currently broadcasts to a limited area, and by using the DVB-T2 transmission method is only available those with compatible equipment (usually branded Freeview HD or Freeview Play).
COM7 currently broadcasts a mix of HD (high definition) and standard definition channels, largely HD simulcasts and plus 1 timeshifts. However, Freesports, Now 80s, That’s TV (UK version), ‘pop-up’ temporary service That’s Music, Forces TV, and the recently moved Together TV are all ‘unique’ to this multiplex.
In total, some viewers may lose up to 15 channels, on the assumption that no channels will be re-accommodated on other multiplexes. Exact changes are yet to be revealed (or at least to reach me), so the exact number of closures may change. There is not enough spare capacity to accommodate all services on other multiplexes, so at least some will close.
It is up to the channel owners and transmitter network providers to decide who gets available vacant capacity. There is only one remaining DVB-T2 multiplex (BBC B/PSB3), and that is current full. This means the HD simulcasts will close, but may appear in the future if an existing multiplex converts to DVB-T2.
That leaves the standard definition channels, of which 3 are time shift versions of existing channels so are unlikely to be retained. That’s Music is a pop-up service, so will also close, leaving 6 channels needing capacity. It is unlikely that there is enough national capacity to keep all 6 on-air.
Time will tell if any of the services affected by the COM7 closure will continue broadcasting on Freeview, but most are available on other platforms such as satellite which are unaffected by the terrestrial changes.
Music channels Now 70s and Now 80s have swapped frequencies on the Freeview terrestrial platform. Now 70s has switched from the Greater Manchester (GMan) multiplex to the COM6 (Arqiva B) multiplex, with Now 80s making the opposite move.
As a result, Now 70s has increased its coverage area to most of the UK, with Now 80s restricted to the Greater Manchester area only.
The channel numbers have also changed, with Now 70s now on channel 76. Now 80s occupies a slightly higher position on the EPG, and can now be found on channel number 75.
Further to the previous post, Drama +1 has now replaced CCXTV on terrestrial platform Freeview, retaining channel number 73.
Speculation was that CCXTV was created to allow for eventual transfer of what was Create & Craft’s high EPG number of 23 to another channel. While this does appear to have been the case, unlike Merit which allowed a high position to transfer from ITV to Sky, CCXTV ran a near full time service, and had an active presence on social media.
The channel re-numbers have also taken place, but are far more extensive than previously reported. The full changes are summarised below.
|Channel||New EPG No.||Old EPG No.||Multiplex|
|Now 70s||75||78||Greater Manchester|
|Now 90s||78||84||Greater Manchester|
|Clubland TV||79||82||Greater Manchester|
|Together TV +1||83||88||COM7|
|PBS America +1||87||93||COM7|
|Country Music Entertainment||88||98||Greater Manchester|
The Freeview channel multiplex reshuffle has taken place, and in addition to the previous news posts, the following has now been confirmed.
A new video stream has opened on the BBC B (PSB3) multiplex, allowing Shopping Quarter to move without needing to replace an existing channel. Although not in HD, a DVB-T2 receiver (Freeview HD or Freeview Play) is required to view the channel.
Freesports, Now 80s, and Forces TV have moved to COM7, as per the original plan, and contrary to the most recent news post. The moves to COM 5 and 6 are still expected in the future, as these are the only channels (except HD and +1 duplicates) not on a permanent multiplex
Pick +1 has been removed from Freeview (around 12pm), and was broadcast on COM7, one of the temporary multiplexes.
I also have further information, though not yet confirmed by other news sites, that Freesports, Forces TV, and Now 80s are also moving from the temporary multiplexes. The expect changes are summarised below, and are due to take place on the 22nd June.
|Channel (No.)||Current Multiplex||Expected Change|
|Forces TV (93)||COM8||Move to COM6|
|Freesports (64)||COM8||Move to COM5|
|Now 80s (86)||COM8||Move to COM6|
All three channels had expected to move to temp. multiplex COM7 when COM8 closes. However, these channels are one of only a few non +1 of HD channels broadcast on COM7/COM8, and the move to permanent multiplexes suggest that COM7 is also expected to close soon.