Drama launches and other UKTV changes

DramaNew channel Drama has launched this week.

Drama, a new channel from UKTV, can be found on Sky channel 291 and Freeview channel 20. Carriage on Virgin Media is still pending negotiations.

Due to the new launch, Gold on the terrestrial subscription service Top Up TV moves from channel 20 to 26, Blighty has ceased broadcasting and Eden’s standard definition channel has moved to Sky channel 534.

Sky Sports coming to terrestrial

Sky Sports is coming to digital terrestrial via IPTV service BT Vision and Top Up TV.

The Guardian report BT and Top Up TV “have confirmed they will launch cut-price subscriptions to Sky Sports channels in time for the new football season, making them available on digital terrestrial television for the first time since ITV Digital went bust in 2002… the telecoms company is understood to be planning to offer Sky Sports 1 to its existing broadband/DTT customers for about £15 a month, while Top Up TV is expected to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 for about £20 a month.”.

It’s now possible to launch Sky Sports on the terrestrial platform after a ruling from Ofcom said they must make their channels more widely available and offer them at a more reasonable price.

Read more about this on the Guardian’s website.

Further details for 30th Sept retune

It was confirmed earlier this month where channels will be moving to when the national retune takes place on the 30th September, but some channels were absent from the announcement – the Top Up TV download channels.

It’s been confirmed Top Up TV Anytime 1-4 will be moving from channel 38-41 to channel 307-310. Read the official retune briefing from Digital UK.

It’s also now been confirmed any HD channels when they launch on Freeview will appear from channel 50 upwards.

ESPN UK to replace ESPN America

It’s been confirmed ESPN’s new UK channel won’t run side-by-side with ESPN America – it will replace ESPN America on Virgin Media, Sky and Top Up TV (digital terrestrial).

The new UK channel will be available in standard definition and high definition on Sky. There’s no word yet on whether it will be carried in HD on Virgin Media.

ESPN UK will launch on the 3rd August on Virgin Media channel 553 and Top Up TV (digital terrestrial) channel 34.

The new channel will air UK premier league football when the new season begins this year.

ESPN UK to launch 3rd August [Updated]

Updated: Further to our news post a few days ago, AGB Nielson have announced ESPN’s new UK channel will begin BARB reporting on the 4th August and BBC News says the channel will start broadcasting on the 3rd August. The new channel will be on DTT, Virgin Media and Sky. This will mean ESPN America on DTT (Top Up TV) – Setanta Sports 1’s old slot – will probably be removed in August to make way for ESPN UK. The new ESPN UK channel will air Premier League football as well as other sports.

ESPN America launches on Top Up TV and BT Vision

ESPN America has launched on Top Up TV to take the place of recently-closed Setanta Sports 1. It’s also taken the place of Setanta Sports on IPTV service BT Vision.

Setanta went in to administration yesterday and its channels on DTT, BT Vision, Virgin and Sky were all closed down. ESPN America is available on Top Up TV (digital terrestrial) channel 34, and anyone with a valid Setanta card can watch it. It’s available on BT Vision channel 34 at no additional cost to all existing Setanta Sports customers.

ESPN will air Premier League football matches next season.

Setanta ceases broadcasting in the UK

Setanta Sports has gone in to administration in Great Britain. All the Setanta channels have gone off air – Setanta Sports 1, Setanta Sports 2, Setanta Sports News and Setanta Golf have all gone. Celtic TV and Rangers TV are no longer available on Virgin Media. Racing UK – part of the Setanta package – will continue to broadcast, but as a standalone channel.

A message on Setanta.com – the official website for Setanta – says “Setanta Sports Customers from England, Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands, please be advised that it is with great regret that Setanta GB is no longer trading. Setanta Sports is still operating in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland only. Customers from ROI and NI should go to www.setanta.com/ie for more information”.

Media website Digital Spy reports “Deloitte was appointed by Setanta at 2:30pm today after last-ditch efforts to secure a rescue package failed. 200 jobs have been lost with immediate effect as a result of the collapse” and Setanta chairman Sir Robin Miller says “This is a sad day for all concerned”.

ESPN has picked up the rights to air 46 matches that Setanta had for the 2009/2010 football season.

Digital terrestrial customers who subscribed to Setanta should visit the help pages on the Top Up TV website for further information regarding the closure of Setanta Sports 1.

Setanta continues to operate in Ireland. A message on the Ireland page for Setanta says “Setanta Sports Ireland will now cover broadcasting in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Please note that there are different levels of coverage available in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, and the full programme content will be advised in due course”.

BBC programmes in TV Favourites

BBC programmes will be added to Top Up TV Anytime’s “TV Favourites” section from June.

A message on the official Top Up TV website says “now you can catch the best of Drama, Comedy, and Factual from the BBC right here on Top Up TV… as of 3 June, you will be able to enjoy hit shows such as Life on Mars (series 1), Doctor Who (series 1), Bleak House, Spooks (series 5), Blue Planet, Himalaya with Michael Palin, Life in the Undergrowth, Little Britain (series 1), The League of Gentlemen, The Catherine Tate Show (series 1), and many more”.