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.
As reported by Advanced Television BT has entered discussions over a potential sale of BT Sport. Options range from a full sale to partial sale or joint venture arrangement.
It is likely that any procceeds raising will be invested into the roll out of fibre broadband.
BT Sport currently opperate 5 channels available through BT TV, Sky, and Virgin Media, BT Sport 1, 2, 3, BT Sport Ultimate, and BT Sport ESPN. The latter is a co-branded joint venture with ESPN, showing US sport, while BT Sport Ultimate shows content in 4K resolution.
Following the Ofcom licence revocation, Chinese international news channel CGTN will resume broadcasts in the UK.
An agreement pre-dating the European Union allows TV channels licensed in France to broadcast in the UK.
As CGTN has such a license, it will resume UK broadcasts in due course, once prepartions have been made to uplink the channel from France, a requirement of the licence.
Unlike the UK France does allow state controlled TV channels, but like the UK still regulates the output of the channel. This means CGTN could find itself back in trouble, if it does not stick to the rules in France.
While I was away, it was confirmed that BBC Three is returning as a linear TV channel, to the Freesat, Freeview, Sky, and Virgin Media platforms.
CBBC will revert to its original finishing time of 7pm. BBC Three will feature a strand of programmes suitable for 13 to 18 year olds from 7pm to 9pm. The return of BBC Three is scheduled for early 2021.
Although frequencies are available for the return of BBC Three, the original channel numbers have been reassigned to other services. It has not been confirmed which numbers BBC Three will be given, but as a BBC service, it will be given priority for a low number high on the EPG.
BBC Four remains, but will become an archive channel, and will no longer receive new commissioned shows. Some live art programming will remain, as part of the cost reducing changes.
Premium channel Lifetime will leave the Sky, Virgin Media, and Youview powered platforms in the UK and Ireland, as the channel is closing at the end of the month.
Two sources offer different closure dates, with Media Mole suggesting 28th February (2021) in the headline but contradicting itself with March 1st in quote. TV Channel Lists opts for March 1st. A closure in the early hours of 1st March is most likely, meaning the 28th February should be the last full day of broadcasts.
Lifetime is owned by A&E Television Networks, and replaced The Biography Channel seven years ago. With a BARB average audience share of just 0.03%, the channel has struggled to attract an audience, lagging behind sister channels including free to air Blaze (0.29%), and premium channels Sky History (0.22%) and Crime+Investigation (0.16%).
The other channels will remain, with Lifetime content expected to be accommodated on the other channels. In other parts of the world, Lifetime continues to be available in Poland and Africa, although the outlet in Malta is also closing.
GB News, the proposed new news channel with backing from Discovery, will be on all major UK TV platforms, including terrestrial (Freeview including YouView based platforms), satellite (both Freesat and Sky), and cable (Virgin Media).
Infrastructure provider Arqiva has been selected to deliver the channel, and will oversee the launch and manage programme delivery. The channel should reach 96% of households in the UK.
A proposed launch date has not yet been revealed, but the channel is expected to launch this year (2021).
The English Premier League has scrapped the pay per view (PPV) set up for additional football matches that would not otherwise be shown on TV, but are being made available due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Most additional matches will now be shown on Sky Sports or BT Sport. A notable exception is Fulham v Everton which will be shown on the BBC, and will kick-off at 12pm on the 22nd of November.
The PPV service was criticised for being too expensive. Some clubs also criticised the cost, with Newcastle United suggesting a much lower £4.99 per match fee.
The situation will be reviewed in the new year, and highlights will continue to be available on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme.
Note: This story now falls outside of the scope for news articles on All About Digital TV, but has been included as a continuation of previous stories.
Already available in the Republic of Ireland, cable TV operator Virgin Media have now launched their new Virgin TV 360 platform in the UK, to offer a “seamless connected entertainment experience”.
Customers can enjoy simple modern menus, quick navigation and their favourite channels and apps all in one place, including all major TV channels and streaming services such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
A new mini ‘set top’ box has been launched, complete with a new remote which features voice control. The Virgin TV Go app has also been updated.