The big UKTV rebranding machine continues to roll. It was announced this week UKTV History will be rebranded as Yesterday in early 2009. Early next year will also see Blighty (currently UKTV People) and Eden (currently UKTV Documentary) coming to our screens. The full range of UKTV channels will therefore be the following by early next year; Watch, GOLD, Dave, Alibi, Yesterday, Eden, Blighty, UKTV Style, UKTV Gardens and UKTV Food. It’s thought the three remaining UKTV-prefixed channels will also be rebranded some time soon.
Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky 3, Sky Real Lives, Sky Real Lives 2, Sky Arts, Sky Arts 2, Sky Sports News and Sky News all started broadcasting on Virgin TV today as planned. Placeholders appeared a few days ago advertising they were coming back today. The channels launched on Virgin TV at approx 6am this morning. Please click here for channel number information. Click here for Virgin TV package options to find out which Sky channels are in which package.
The Sky channels have been added to the Virgin TV EPG in preparation for their Virgin Media relaunch on Thursday. The channels at the moment are just placeholders and are not broadcasting anything on Virgin until Thursday. Virgin Central has moved to channel 118, Virgin 1 has moved to channel 119, Virgin1 +1 has moved to channel 120 and Men & Motors has moved to channel 280. Sky 1 is on channel 121, Sky 2 is on channel 122, Sky 3 is on channel 123, Sky Real Lives is on channel 281, Sky Real Lives 2 is on channel 282, Sky Arts is on 284, Sky Arts 2 is on channel 285, Sky Sports News is on channel 517 and Sky News is on channel 602.
One of Top Up TV’s remaining linear pay channels – Eurosport – has been removed from the service. The channel is no longer available on DTT. It is rumoured though that this is only temporary until later this month when it’s thought it might change it’s timeslot to broadcast for longer hours in the daytime. Watch this space.
Mojo will close down on the 30th November on all platforms – including Freeview. The radio station launched in 2003 but Bauer have now decided to shut it down and concentrate on its other radio stations instead. The closure of Mojo will open up room for a new radio station to possibly launch on Freeview. Watch this space.
In some areas Teletext On 4 has been renamed as 1-2-1 Dating but is currently blank, and the Clyde1 radio station has been removed. Clyde1 was only meant to be a temporary replacement radio station on Freeview when 3C closed down, so this isn’t much of a surprise. Also, on some boxes now, you might find the BBC Red Button LCNs 303 and 305 hidden when trying to browse through channels manually instead of through the red button. 304 (TVTV Digital) also appears to have been removed or hidden in some areas.
Excellent – but unexpected – news that’s just been announced today… the Sky basics are coming back to Virgin TV next Thursday after having been off the platform since the much talked-about removal of the channels back in February/March 2007. This means Virgin TV customers will once again be able to enjoy Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky News and Sky Sports News. The new deal also includes channels that we previously didn’t have pre-February 2007. These channels are Sky 3, Sky Arts 1, Sky Arts 2, Sky Real Lives and Sky Real Lives 2. All of those Sky channels will be added to Virgin’s TV service next week (13th November). Virgin Media have also agreed a deal for its own Virgin Media TV group of channels to stay available on the Sky TV platform – these include Living, Living 2, Bravo, Bravo 2, Trouble, Challenge and Virgin 1.
C21Media reports Sky’s CEO Jeremy Darroch says “this is great news for Sky and Virgin Media customers alike. We want our channels to be enjoyed by as many people as possible”. There was an impending court case between Virgin and Sky regarding the Sky basic channels dispute that was thought to be taking place in 2009, but this now – of course – will not be happening. The two new deals (the one for the Sky channels on Virgin TV and the one for the Virgin Media TV channels on Sky TV) run through to June 2011.
Unconfirmed reports are that there will be some channel reshuffles next week to make way for the Sky channels. It’s thought Virgin Central will be on channel 118, Virgin 1 will be on channel 119, Virgin1 +1 will be on channel 120, Sky 1 will launch on channel 121, Sky 2 will launch on channel 122, Sky 3 will launch on channel 123, Men & Motors will be on channel 280, Sky Real Lives will launch on channel 281, Sky Real Lives 2 will launch on channel 282, Sky Arts will launch on 284, Sky Arts 2 will launch on channel 285, Sky Sports News will launch on channel 517 and Sky News will launch on channel 602.