Other changes this week

Babestation has launched on channel 42. You may need to rescan your Freeview box to pick it up. It’s on air 1am to 6am daily. Also, SmileTV3 has launched on channel 37, which airs midnight to 8am daily. Other changes from earlier this week include Big Deal moving to channel 32 (10pm to 5am daily), SmileTV1 closing, new Teletext text service Mobilizer launching on channel 109 and Virgin1 +1 reducing their hours to 6pm to 1am.

Price-Drop TV coming back to Freeview

Price-Drop TV is coming back to Freeview. It has been announced on Bid TV that Price-Drop TV will return to Freeview on channel 43 soon. Price-Drop TV was removed from Freeview to make way for Virgin 1 to go 24 hours, but it’s thought there is now some space on the Russia Today / Big Deal stream.

Update: It’s been revealed it will be back on Freeview from the 27th August.

Quest launching 30th September

Quest – the new channel from Discovery – will finally be launching on Freeview after the initial May 2009 launch was pulled merely minutes before it was due to start broadcasts.

The official Quest website says it’s coming to Freeview this autumn. Discovery have confirmed to Broadcast Now that the channel will launch on the 30th September.

The original launch was delayed because of a “number of commercial factors” – let’s see if this new September launch will go according to plan.

The new ESPN channels have arrived

The new UK version of ESPN has now appeared on channel 529, ESPN HD has appeared on channel 530 (available to V+ customers), ESPN America has moved to channel 531 (this will continue to broadcast in the UK despite earlier rumours that it would cease broadcasting when ESPN UK launched) and ESPN Classic has appeared on channel 533.

The new channels launch today, and all ESPN channels will be available free for all XL TV customers, like the Setanta Sports channels used to be. If you are on the M TV or L TV package you can subscribe to ESPN and ESPN HD for £8 per month if you already subscribe to any combination of the Sky Sports channels or £10 a month if you don’t. ESPN and ESPN HD are free for all Virgin TV customers throughout August.

You may need to restart your set top box to pick up the channel changes (turn the box off at the plug socket for 30 seconds then switch it back on again).

ESPN America now staying

In a surprise move, ESPN America is now staying.

Their official website says “We are pleased to announce that ESPN America will continue to broadcast in the UK. Therefore, you can continue to watch and enjoy the unrivalled live coverage and sports action from North America 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on ESPN America. ESPN America will be available in the UK via both Sky and Virgin Media along with our other sports channels – ESPN (from 3rd August) and ESPN Classic. Please see below for how to get ESPN America on Sky and Virgin Media”.

It was thought ESPN America would be axed in the UK to make way for the new UK version of ESPN, which launches on Monday.

Please note, however, ESPN America will be removed from Top Up TV on Digital Terrestrial to make way for the new ESPN UK channel.