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.Continue reading Smithsonian Channel to Close
TV Player, an online streaming platform for free and subscription television has suffered a further loss of channels, as Paramount Global removes all of its remaining channels from the platform.
The channels removed are free-to-view services Channel 5, 5 Select, 5 Star, and 5 USA, plus subscription services Comedy Central, Comedy Central Extra, and MTV. It would appear that other Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) channels, such as Nickelodeon and 5 Action (formerly Paramount Network), had already been removed.
TV Player is one of few places that offer online live streaming of regular TV channels found on other platforms, such as satellite, cable, or terrestrial. The website was largely unique, as it works directly with broadcasters, ensuring that consents are fully obtained and required royalties are paid.
TV Player first launched in 2014 (official launch), and has seen channels come and go since then. However, in most case channels have been removed from the platform, with the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Discovery Inc. all having removed channels, largely in favour of developing their own platforms.
TV Player is currently owned by Alchimie, a digital content distributor, based in France. TV Player currently operates in the UK, France, Spain, and USA. UK content is now largely limited to niche market services, with most currently unavailable on other platforms.
Alternatives to TV Player have also expand in recent years. Pluto TV, owned by Paramount Global, offers several free online channels, largely unique to the service, and curated around individual TV series. These include content from Channel 5, via a range of bespoke My5 branded channels.
Kapang is another alternative, owned by View TV Group. This largely replicates traditional viewing, with live streams available for a large number of free-to-view channels found on other platforms such as Freeview and Freesat. Channels include those from the BBC and ITV, plus others operated by View TV Group themselves, including a reboot of the Men and Motors channel. View TV Group are probably most known for online motoring channel OnlyMotors, and the ill-fated digital radio station Rathergood Radio.
The CBS name is being dropped from UK channels, as the former AMC Networks and CBS UK joint venture disbands. There will still be four channels, but CBS Drama and CBS Justice will come to an end. A precursor to the more widespread changes came earlier this year, when CBS Justice and Horror swapped channel numbers on Freeview. Horror moved from channel number 69 to 41, with CBS Justice making the opposite move.
Now, widespread changes are being made, with the CBS name being dropped, as Paramount Global (owners of CBS and other brands) gradually restructures. The changes have been timed to coincide with the closure of the COM7 Freeview multiplex on the 30th June (2022).
Horror, which already shows sci-fi programmes, will be replaced by Legend and Horror Extra. Legend will broaden Horrors reach to complimentary genres such as action, and increased amount of sci-fi programmes. Horror Extra will be a part time channel, focusing on horror movies and TV shows post watershed. On Freeview, Legend will take over the slot currently occupied by Horror, but on Freesat, Sky, Virgin Media, will replace CBS Justice when it closes.
Horror Extra will take over Horror’s existing slots on satellite (Sky/Freesat) and cable (Virgin Media), but is not expected to be available on Freeview. Horror currently has a +1 version on these platforms, which Horror Extra will inherit.
CBS Reality will continue unchanged initially, but is expected to become Reality in due course. CBS Drama, itself no longer solely devoted to drama shows, will become Reality Extra. It is understood, that there will be no schedule changes, beyond the name change, but Reality Extra will have reduced coverage on Freeview.
The changes have been timed to coincide with the closure of the COM7 Freeview multiplex on the 30th June (2022).
Note: I became aware of the changes to the above channels a week or so ago, but have only recently had sufficient sources (and time) to be able to adequately cross reference the changes.
Paramount+ (Paramount Plus) has now launched in the UK and Ireland, and has joined a number of existing and established subscription video on demand (VOD) services available to viewers with an internet connection.
Paramount+ is home to a range of premium content from Paramount Global, the organisation formerly known as ViacomCBS. Paramount+ is home to new and original series such as The First Lady, movies including Transformers and Scream, and popular classics such as Grease.
The service costs £6.99 a month, and can be accessed on a number of devices including smartphones, tablets, TVs from Samsung, Android powered TVs, and Amazon Fire devices. An internet connection is required.
A promo loop on the website states an official launch date of 22nd June (2022), but despite this the service appears to be fully up and running today (21st June) (on-line via web browser at least).
Paramount Global also own MTV, children’s channel Nickelodeon, and Channel 5 in the UK.