ITN will be the producers in charge of new Virgin/Setanta venture, Setanta Sports News when it launches later this year. Setanta Sports News originally had a deal with another company, who withdrew from the channel, meaning the launch has been pushed back. Setanta Sports News is thought to be available on cable and Sky when it launches, and will prove a strong rival to Sky Sports News. It will also prove to be a strong marketing tool for the other Setanta channels – which now show selected Premier League football matches – and are free to Virgin Media XL TV customers.
The now defunct Prem Plus channel has been removed from the Virgin Media EPG (it used to be on channel 501).
The new broadcast hours for Teachers’ TV on Freeview have now come into effect. Teachers’ TV now airs between the hours of 4pm and 5pm on Freeview.
Edit: Please see comments from a contact at Teachers’ TV – the broadcast hours will not be changed at the moment, so the old broadcast hours are still in effect (not 4pm to 5pm).
The first TV advert for Virgin 1 is now showing on selected TV channels – including Living and Ftn. I’ve been hunting through YouTube and found a capture of it (below) – enjoy! Virgin 1 is expected to launch on cable, Freeview and Sky within the next month.
Virgin Media (at last) have some Interactive features on the BBC Radio channels. Press red on any of the main BBC Radio channels to see these new features.
BBC Radio 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be moving multiplexes at the start of October, meaning you will need to rescan your Freeview box in October to avoid losing those radio channels. There is a caption currently displaying on the BBC Radio channels explaining this change. There’s also a new look to all the BBC Radio channel MHEG screens (not BBC World Service) to incorporate the redesigned BBC Radio logos. The BBC Radio press red screens say this multiplex change is needed to allow for DSO (Digital Switchover).
It has been confirmed – following the rumours earlier this week – that ABC1 will cease broadcasting next month. It will be pulled from all platforms – not just Freeview. It’s not known what will be put in its place on the Freeview platform – there’s speculation they may put on one of the Disney Channels (Playhouse Disney or something similar), or – of course – they could sell their slot to someone else (as we mentioned before, UKTV Bright Ideas could move to the ABC1 slot, freeing up their 12 hours on the current slot that could be used for Virgin 1 – as the UKTV Bright Ideas current slot and Ftn use the same feed – so they could merge those as one channel and Virgin 1 can be 24 hours on Freeview).
Broadcast Now are reporting “Virgin Media is considering launching a news channel to rival Sky News with ITN as its content supplier”. There doesn’t appear to be anymore news on this at the moment, so watch this space. If they were to go ahead and launch a news channel, this would mean they would have Setanta Sports News to rival Sky Sports News, and Virgin News (if it were to be called that) to rival Sky News.
There are rumours flying around the Internet at the moment that either abc1 or The Hits are closing (on the Freeview platform at least) on the 1st October. The Hits is expected to be replaced by a Channel 4 music channel, and abc1 may be going to make way for Virgin 1 to be 24 hours when it launches soon. abc1 closing could mean UKTV Bright Ideas being able to move to their old slot, freeing up space for Virgin 1 (the current UKTV Bright Ideas slot and Ftn timeshare the same feed at the moment). Nothing has been confirmed or denied at the moment, so watch this space.
Nuts TV now shows an off-air MHEG screen from 1am to 9pm, and a video promo slide between the hours of 9pm and 1am. Nuts TV launches on the 12th September on channel 42.