Pop to launch on Freeview this week

Pop is launching on Freeview tomorrow, Thursday 20th March.

The channel, owned by the CSC Media Group, has been available since 2003 on Sky.

You’ll need to retune your Freeview box to receive Pop – it will be on Freeview channel 75.


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Bid becomes Shop At Bid

Shop At BidBid has been rebranded as Shop At Bid. The channel was renamed on Monday (10th March).

Shop At Bid is available on Freeview channel 23, Sky channel 645 and Virgin Media channel 745.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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