Tests for extended Top Up TV Anytime space is underway – Top Up TV have been testing the space that used to be occupied by Teachers’ TV (11am to 1pm) before Teachers’ TV moved to a new timeslot on Freeview.
BBC HD – the high definition service on cable and Sky – has been approved by the BBC Trust and it’s thought it will officially launch next year. The channel has currently been in the trial phase for some time and has been available to those with a V+ box. The fully launched channel will consist of 9 hours worth of high def programming.
A press release on the Virgin Media website says “Virgin Media is beefing up its on demand offering this month by adding a wealth of factual and lifestyle programmes to its line-up. Over 80 hours of science, nature and lifestyle shows from National Geographic Channel and Discovery Channel will be available to Virgin Media customers from November”. Watch this space.
QVC have renewed their Freeview carriage, meaning their position on Freeview has been secured until 2022.
The hours for UKTV Gold on Top Up TV’s linear lineup have changed. The channel now runs on Top Up TV from 5pm to 11.30pm in order to allow Anytime programming to download for an extra hour and a half every day. The off-air MHEG screens on the three Anytime channels display the new broadcast hours for UKTV Gold.
Arsenal TV will launch on the Virgin Media platform on the 14th January 2008. The initial launch was expected to happen in December 2007, but this has been pushed back until the New Year.
Virgin Media have stated “we continue to have discussions with Sky, those discussions are ongoing. We have not managed to reach a commercial settlement at this stage. We’ll continue to do that” and “Ofcom is still taking undertaking a review of the detailed facts and other information concerning their market investigation and we continue to work with them and we look forward to them coming to the next stage of their investigative review”. To read the transcript from the recent meeting, click here to go to Seeking Alpha.
The three CSTV channels – Scuzz, Bliss and Flaunt – were removed from the Virgin Media lineup on Tuesday 6th November following end of contract. The three channels have been renamed on the EPG to their channel numbers. MTV R (the new “classic” MTV channel) also launched this week on channel 196 – it launched on the 8th November.
Also, in coming weeks we have the launch of Setanta Sports News (probably now launching on the 29th November on channel 518), and the ex-Telewest channel number harmonisation continues until the end of this month. Any channels only available on ex-NTL or ex-Telewest platforms will be removed altogether at the end of December. There are several channels testing on certain Virgin Media boxes (hidden) – these include JJB Sports TV, Cartoonito, True Movies 2 and Setanta Sports News. TCM 2 is no longer testing so is probably not coming to Virgin Media.
A bit of belated news – Gems TV launched a few days ago on Freeview channel 43, which timeshares with Film 4. Gems TV (a shopping channel) airs on Freeview between the hours of 9.45am to 12.45pm.