ITVBe has launched

ITVBe – the new entertainment, reality and lifestyle channel from ITV – has launched on Freeview (channel 26), Freesat (channel 118), Sky (channel 179) and Virgin Media (channel 119).

The channel is now home to the likes of The Only Way Is Essex, The Real Housewives of Orange County and Dinner Date.

The new channel is aimed predominantly towards young females.

ITVBe

Sky Sports News to rebrand as Sky Sports News HQ

Sky Sports News will undergo a rebrand on the 12th August to become Sky Sports News HQ it has been announced.

“Launched for the new football season, Sky Sports News HQ will put the viewer at the heart of sports news with a new schedule, upgraded studio and improved digital services including redesigned apps and integrated social media coverage.

Sky Sports News HQ will launch on Sky channel 401, providing viewers with an unrivalled sports news service plus a showcase of other content on the Sky Sports channels. Other Sky Sports channels will move one slot up the Sky digital EPG”.

In addition to the new channel name and number, Sky Sports News HQ will have a new schedule, new studio and other improvements.

The new channel numbers on Sky will be:

Sky Sports News HQ – 401
Sky Sports 1 – 402
Sky Sports 2 – 403
Sky Sports 3 – 404
Sky Sports 4 – 405
Sky Sports 5 – 406
Sky Sports F1 – 407

ITVBe to launch this October

ITV’s new free-to-air channel ITVBe will launch in October, it has been announced.

ITVBe launches on the 8th October on Freeview, Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

“The new channel will be dedicated to lifestyle and entertainment programming, celebrating real life and real people. ITVBe will be the exclusive home of The Only Way Is Essex as well as other UK original commissions and a range of American acquired shows as previously announced”.

Turner to launch TruTV in the UK

TruTVIt’s been announced that Turner Broadcasting are to launch a UK version of their popular American channel TruTV.

TruTV is Turner’s general entertainment channel in the US.

Broadcast Now reports “the 24-hour channel will air this summer in an unconfirmed slot on the Freeview, Freesat and YouView platforms. Distribution with pay-TV platforms Sky and Virgin Media is expected to be revealed shortly” and also say “the channel is expected to commission UK shows to bolster its existing output, as well as buy up shows from distributors including Endemol and Zodiak Rights”.

The US version of TruTV airs such shows as Storage Hunters, Lizard Lick Towing and Hardcore Pawn.

Turner Broadcasting already air several channels in the UK including CNN, Cartoon Network and TCM.

Bid Shopping channels cease broadcasting

Bid ShoppingBid Shopping (sit-up TV) have gone into administration.

Their two shopping channels Shop At Bid and Price Drop have ceased broadcasting as of yesterday, Thursday 17th April.

Bid was rebranded as Shop At Bid last month but this wasn’t enough to save the company.

Retail Week reports “KPMG has been appointed administrator to the company… it will cease to trade with immediate effect, making 229 redundancies” and that KPMG says the collapse is due to “a significant and unexpected” fall in sales over the last month.

It’s not yet clear what will happen with the two Freeview slots the channels used to occupy, but they will likely be put back up for public sale.

London Live launches tonight at 6.30pm

London LiveThe new local TV channel for London launches tonight, from 6.30pm.

London Live is available on Freeview channel 8, Sky channel 117 and Virgin Media channel 159.

The channel will only be available in London and the surrounding areas, and will show local news, current affairs, sports, arts, events and entertainment.

However, if you’re not in or around London (or just can’t get to a TV) you can watch a live stream of the channel at www.londonlive.co.uk.

As well as original programming, London Live will also air repeats of shows from other broadcasters including the BBC’s popular Twenty Twelve series.

London Live is owned and run by ESTV (London Evening Standard) who won the London franchise bid from Ofcom in February 2013.

Click here to read the London Evening Standard’s article on the channel launch.

Click here to visit the official website for London Live.

BBC Three to be axed as a TV channel

BBC ThreeIt’s been announced BBC Three will be axed as a TV channel and become an online-only entity from next year, subject to the approval of the BBC Trust.

BBC Director General Tony Hall confirmed BBC Three will close on all TV platforms “from autumn 2015” to make £50 million a year in savings with £30 million of that going to BBC One drama.

The BBC have stressed however this isn’t the end for BBC Three and that it will be “reinvented as a new and innovative online service”.

In addition the space freed up on TV platforms after the closure will be used “to extend CBBC by an hour a night and to provide a BBC One +1 service”.

In an email to BBC staff, BBC Director General Tony Hall said:

“I’m convinced that the BBC as a creative organisation will be able to reinvent a space for young people on the iPlayer that will be bold, innovative and distinctive. It will not just be a TV channel distributed online – it will be an opportunity to look at new forms, formats, different durations, and more individualised and interactive content. It will play to BBC Three’s strengths, offer something distinctive and new, and enhance the BBC’s reputation with young audiences. And I will challenge everyone in the BBC to spend much more time focusing on programming for young audiences. We will lead the way”.

Click here to read the press release in full.

ITV announces new channel ITVBe

ITVITV have confirmed another new channel launch weeks after announcing ITV Encore.

The new channel announced today is ITVBe which will be a free-to-air channel “featuring the best entertaining lifestyle and reality programming from the UK and the US” according to the official ITV press release.

ITV say “the new channel, which is likely to appeal to a younger, female audience, will also feature acquired content, including the US Real Housewives franchise, which currently airs in daytime on ITV2… ITVBe will complement ITV2 which will continue to strengthen its position as the home of unashamed entertainment for 16-34 year olds, focusing on scripted series, irreverent panel shows and formats, and youth skewing commissions and acquisitions with bold humour at their heart”.

ITVBe will also become the exclusive home for The Only Way Is Essex.

The difference between ITVBe and ITV Encore is the latter is a pay channel – this will likely mean you’ll need to be a Sky customer (i.e. not free-to-view or free-to-air), and not have to pay a subscription for the channel itself – whereas ITVBe will be completely free.

ITV say ITVBe will launch towards the end of the year and will be “available free on all the major broadcasting platforms, including Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media”.

Read the ITV press release in full.

Channel 5 +24 has launched

Channel 5’s new 24-hour timeshift service has launched and some changes have occurred since the original announcement.

Originally the channel was thought to be going off-air on Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media when teleshopping is broadcast between 10am and 7pm on other platforms – restrictions prevent that amount of teleshopping in one block on Sky and presumably Virgin Media takes its feed from the Sky version of the channel so that’s why cable is included in this “version” of Channel 5 +24.

However, Channel 5 +24 will now have different daytime schedules depending on which platform you’re watching on:

– Teleshopping airs through to 7pm on Freeview/Youview.

– Teleshopping doesn’t air in the 3am-6am, 10am-1pm and 4pm-7pm blocks on Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media, instead airing additional programming not broadcast on Freeview/Youview.

Channel 5 +24Channel 5 +24 replaces 5* +1 on Freesat, Sky & Virgin Media and broadcasts recent programmes shown on Channel 5 including the previous day’s schedule between 7pm and midnight. Find it on Freeview channel 55, Freesat 133, Sky 175 and Virgin Media 152.