In details first revealed in the listings magazine Radio Times, it has been confirmed that the UK version of the Smithsonian Channel is set to close.
The channel is operated by Paramount Global (formerly known as ViacomCBS and operators of MTV and Channel 5 amongst others), under a joint venture with the Smithsonian Institute. The last scheduled programme is Earth Under Water, scheduled to start at 5am on 6th January 2023. However, Paramount Global have confirmed the last day of broadcasts to be the 5th January, and it’s likely that the channel may cease broadcasts on different platforms at different times.
Smithsonian Channel is available on all major TV platforms in the UK, with some availability in the Republic or Ireland as well. On satellite (Sky and Freesat) and cable (Virgin Media), the channel is also available in HD. The channel is free-to-air on most platforms, specialising in a variety of documentaries, such as Aerial America and Inside the Factory, and has been widely available despite launching as recently as 2019.
Content is expected to be divided up amongst Paramount Global’s various streaming services, including subscription based Paramount Plus, and free-to-view My5 and Pluto TV.
Authors Note: I don’t normally tag opinions directly onto the back of news posts, but I would like to share my sadness on the planned closure of the Smithsonian Channel. This a channel that I watch usually once a fortnight, usually dipping in when I have some free time. I’ve recently discovered Aerial America (mentioned above), and have been left truly inspired by the landscapes featured. A real gem of channel, but its upcoming closure perhaps highlights the vulnerabilities of niche market channels, particularly those on multiple platforms which will have higher overheads.