Sky Picnic pay TV service scrapped

The proposed upcoming digital terrestrial pay TV service from Sky – called Picnic – has been scrapped. Media Guardian reports “Sky first started developing plans for the service, called Picnic, 18 months ago but has been unable to launch because Ofcom has not completed its regulatory investigation” and “Sky is understood to have considered launching an internet version of Picnic, an IPTV service. However, all options have now been shelved”.

This now means that – for the time being at least – the existing Sky channels will remain free on digital terrestrial (Sky Three, Sky News and Sky Sports News). If Picnic would have launched, those three channels would have been replaced with pay TV channels for a subscription fee. The subscription channels would have likely been Sky 1, Sky Sports 1, Sky Movies, Disney Channel and Discovery Channel. The subscription channels wouldn’t have been available 24 hours a day, as some would have timeshared together. Any plans for Picnic telephone and broadband services have also been scrapped.

UKTV channels rebrand

To clarify, the following changes will take place on the 7th October;

UKTV Gold will become GOLD (same channel number) – Virgin and Top Up TV
UKTV Gold +1 will become GOLD +1 (same channel number) – Virgin TV only
UKTV Drama will become Alibi (same channel number) – Virgin TV only
UKTV Drama +1 will become Alibi +1 (same channel number) – Virgin TV only
Watch will launch (channel number unknown) – Virgin TV only
Watch +1 will launch (channel number unknown) – Virgin TV only

For more details of things coming soon to Virgin TV, click here.
For more details of things coming soon to DTT, click here.

Virgin Radio name changes on 28th September

Virgin Radio stations will be rebranding on the 28th September;

Virgin Radio will become Absolute Radio
Virgin Radio Xtreme will become Absolute Xtreme
Virgin Radio Classic Rock will become Absolute Classic Rock

Absolute Radio will be on Virgin Media channel 915 & Freeview channel 727
Absolute Xtreme will be on Virgin Media channel 951
Absolute Classic Rock will be on Virgin Media channel 952

For more details of things coming soon to Virgin TV, click here.
For more details of things coming soon to DTT, click here.

Teachers TV now airs 4pm-6pm on Freeview

3rd September 2008 update – An email from Teachers TV – “Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, our Freeview broadcast hours did not change on Monday 1st September. We will be extending our hours on Freeview from 4pm to 6pm, however we cannot confirm the date for this change at this time, although we do hope it will be before the end of September”. Therefore, Teachers TV remains broadcasting 4pm-5pm for now.

Top Up TV Anytime 4 appears

The fourth Top Up TV Anytime “channel” has appeared on channel 41. This channel will be used in the same way as the other three Top Up TV Anytime download “channels”. Top Up TV Anytime 1-4 are used to download video content to Anytime set top boxes. Top Up TV Anytime is currently just testing, but it’s thought this fourth stream will run from 4am to 6am, in Film4’s off-air time.