Helpfully, information has been rather drip fed, but more details have now been confirmed for Sky’s Freeview channels.
On Freeview, Sky Arts will be available on channel number 11, and will be broadcast on the COM5 multiplex, from the 17th September (2020) Sky Pick will move from channel 11 to channel 34, but will remain on the same multiplex. Depending on your equipment, a re-tune may be required.
It appears that Challenge is continuing, at the least for the time being. There is currently capacity on the COM5 multiplex, meaning that Sky Arts can be added without the need to close another channel.
Merit appears likely to close, once it has given Sky Pick the 34 channel number, but this has not been confirmed. Additionally, Sky Arts will also be available on Freesat channel 147.
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.
|Forces TV (93)
||Move to COM6
||Move to COM5
|Now 80s (86)
||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.
Sky owned Pick has made a few changes ahead of the broadcast of live football from Friday.
The most noticeable change is a tweak to the brand, with the Sky Pick name being adopted, along with a new logo in the corporate Sky style. This is likely to be the first time viewers will have been made aware of the channel’s owners.
New high-definition (HD) feeds have appeared. On satellite, a new HD outlet has opened, and is available on both Sky and Freesat on a UK spot beam, without encryption.
The use of a UK spot beam is crucial, as the Premier League (and other sports) have carriage deals with other broadcasters in other countries. Therefore, if the channel was carried on a Europe wide beam, it would need to be encrypted to protect the rights of other broadcasters.
This means that the standard definition version on Freesat will not carry football, as the channel is available on a Europe wide footprint. Additionally, the +1 timeshifts on both Sky and Freesat will also not carry football, neither will the Irish versions of the channel.
On Virgin Media, Sky Pick has switched to HD, although viewers may not immediately be aware as the HD suffix has not been added to the channel name.