29 March 2007

Clyde 1 only a temporary replacement for 3C

Emap have confirmed that Clyde 1 is not a permanent replacement for closed country music station 3C. Emap said it would unveil a permanent replacement for the station - which it claimed “[lacked] the potential for scale or growth” - on Freeview and DAB within the next few months.

28 March 2007

Emap and C4 to launch new Freeview channel

Media group Emap and Channel 4 are to launch a new joint-venture channel on Freeview, offering music videos and youth programming. As deeteetee reported in February, the two companies have been in discussions for some time over the new venture, which sees Channel 4 gain control over more Freeview capacity and gives Emap access to better quality programming. The new channel will launch in place of Emap’s The Hits channel.

27 March 2007

Clyde 1 replaces 3C on Freeview

As previously reported, 3C has left Freeview today and has been replaced by its Scottish sister station Clyde 1. 3C, which was available on Freeview and in some parts of the country via DAB, was the UK’s only national radio station to broadcast from Scotland: it has now ceased operations entirely. Clyde 1 broadcasts to Glasgow and West Central Scotland on FM: it is not clear at this stage if it is only a temporary addition to the Freeview line-up.

26 March 2007

Reports: 3C to close?

Presenters on country music station 3C are warning listeners that the station is about to close. The station, available on Freeview channel 724, is owned by the beleaguered Emap group, who are looking to off-load radio stations in an attempt to sure-up their business.

20 March 2007

Ofcom to investigate pay-television market

At the request of BT [Vision], Top Up TV, Setanta Sports and Virgin Media, media regulator Ofcom is to launch an investigation into the UK pay-television market. In other words, they will investigate the dominance of Sky and whether they should be referred to the Competition Commission. Despite not yet having received an application, Ofcom will also pre-empt Sky's "plan" to launch a pay service on DTT by investigating the effect it would have on the marketplace. Sky have responded in a typically-childish manner, claiming "BT, Top Up TV and Setanta all have a commercial interest in preventing Sky from increasing customer choice by developing a new pay-TV service on DTT".

15 March 2007

Switchover begins on October 17

The switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial television will commence on October 17, Ofcom confirmed today. Viewers in Whitehaven (Border region) will see on-screen messages from May advising of the switch; BBC Two analogue will be switched off on October 17; the remaining analogue channels will cease transmissions on November 14. "At least 18" Freeview channels will be available.

ITV2+1 launches on Freeview

ITV2+1 has launched on Freeview channel 31. The channel is a time-shifted version of ITV2 (surprisingly) and will broadcast 24 hours a day. It is expected that ITV2+1 will only be a temporary addition to the DTT line-up while ITV develop a new channel for the slot, possibly ITV Movies.

14 March 2007

3.8 million Freeview receivers sold in 2006

GfK sales figures reveal 3.8 million DTT receivers were sold last year, with the total number of DTT-only households up to 7.7 million. This figure does not include households with other digital television providers who use DTT boxes for "second-sets". 77.2% of the UK now has digital TV.

13 March 2007

ITV Play scrapped, ITV2+1 to launch on Freeview

ITV's money-making premium-rate phone-in channel ITV Play has been closed and will not return as a standalone channel (although quiz television shows will still be shown overnight on ITV1 and ITV2). The channel will be replaced on Freeview by time-shift channel ITV2+1 on Thursday, March 15.

06 March 2007

Sky consider keeping Freeview channels

As suspected, Sky are reportedly reconsidering their decision to remove their three channels from Freeview in order to launch a subscription service on digital terrestrial. Already facing significant audience losses on their flagship channel Sky One (since it was removed from the Virgin Media cable line-up), Sky are now considering throwing films and football at the channel to keep advertisers happy. This strategy would replace their ridiculous idea to launch a Sky-in-miniature service on DTT.

Teletext rolls out new look

The new-look Teletext on ITV and Teletext on 4 services have been rolled out onto Freeview today. Pressing text is now a very purple affair.

05 March 2007

ITV Play suspended

ITV is to suspend premium-rate phone-in channel ITV Play and all associated programmes on ITV1 and ITV2 with immediate effect. While an audit of the channel's practises is carried out, no competitions will be broadcast. Programming will return on an individual basis.

02 March 2007

Top Up TV placeholders removed

Placeholders for old Top Up TV and pay-per-view services have now been removed from the Electronic Programme Guide. Closed channels (including Discovery Channel, Cartoon Network and the Top Up TV Promo) will no longer appear on set-top boxes after a re-scan.

01 March 2007

Setanta Sports launches

Setanta Sports have launched their new subscription service on DTT. Viewers will need to re-scan their receivers in order to pick up the new channel, which broadcasts between 12:00 and 03:00 daily, on channel 34. Setanta Sports will be bringing subscribers top-flight European football, US PGA golf and Magners League rugby, 7 days a week.