29 September 2007

Bulletin: Virgin 1 and Smile TV

The MD of Virgin Media Television has been speaking about how important Freeview carriage will be to the success of new channel Virgin 1. As ABC1 discovered to it’s cost, primetime hours on Freeview are much sought-after, especially now that digital TV is in 84% of homes. Virgin 1 launches on Monday, at 18:00 on Freeview. Smile TV will broadcast between 03:00 and 07:00 and timeshare with Dave when the latter launches on October 15, according to EPG listings.

BBC to wait on Ofcom before Freeview HD launch

The BBC Trust have given a provisional green light for the corporation to officially launch a High Definition channel, BBC HD. The channel will be available as a full service on cable and satellite, however plans to launch a reduced overnight service on Freeview have been put on hold. The proposal, which involves replacing the BBC’s interactive streams, BBC Parliament and BBC Four with the HD channel for a few hours in the early morning, has been put on hold until Ofcom finalise their plans to (potentially) reorganise the digital terrestrial platform for HD services.

26 September 2007

ABC1 ceases broadcasting

ABC1 has ceased broadcasting on Freeview, cable and satellite. As reported earlier this month, the Disney-owned channel was scheduled for closure before October, however an exact date was never revealed. ABC1 began broadcasting (exclusively) on Freeview on 27 September 2004. Excluding “Playhouse Disney” children’s programming, the channel only ever broadcast 29 shows – and only some of those on Freeview as the channel was never successful in obtaining primetime broadcast capacity.

25 September 2007

Heat Radio re-launches

Heat Radio has launched a new look and new schedule to become the UK’s first “celebrity” station. Now available nationwide on Freeview channel 714 after swapping multiplexes earlier this month, the service has also been made available on more local DAB multiplexes.

20 September 2007

UKTV to launch “Dave” on Freeview

UKTV are to replace UKTV G2 with a new channel called Dave, and launch it on Freeview on October 15. The channel will broadcast between 07:00 and 03:00 on channel 19, replacing UKTV Bright Ideas. It will broadcast in the capacity currently used by UKTV History, which will see its hours on Freeview reduced to 07:00 to 18:00. Rumours G2 would come to Freeview first surfaced last month.

84% of homes now have digital television

84% of UK households now have digital television, according to the latest research from Ofcom. Freeview sales led the growth, accounting for 81% – 763,000 sets – of the net growth between April and June.

18 September 2007

Virgin 1 to launch on October 1

Virgin 1 will launch on October 1, it has been announced. The channel, Virgin Media’s attempt to create a flagship channel to rival Sky One, will be available on all digital platforms – 24 hours a day on most, but only available between 18:00 and 06:00 on Freeview (replacing FTN).

15 September 2007

Bulletin: ABC and BBC

The following snippets of information have come to light in the last 24 hours: ABC1 have confirmed on their website that the channel will not broadcast on any platform “after September”. There had been some confusion surrounding the closing date and whether the channel would continue on satellite or cable. Elsewhere, it has been revealed that BBC Radio stations 1 to 4 will move to multiplex B when they vacate mux A on October 3.

12 September 2007

Nuts TV launches on Freeview

Nuts TV has launched on Freeview channel 42. The channel, a spin-off of lads’ magazine Nuts, will broadcast from 21:00 to 01:00 every night, with live content during the week and recorded highlights at the weekend. Currently exclusive to Freeview, the channel hopes to launch on other platforms shortly.

Heat and Smash Hits! Radio swap multiplexes

Emap radio stations Smash Hits! (Freeview channel 712) and Heat (channel 714) have swapped multiplexes this afternoon. The switch means that Heat is now available nationwide (on mux D), ahead of a massive station re-vamp which will see the station carry talk programming for the first time. Music-only station Smash Hits! Is now carried on mux A, and is no longer available in Wales.

10 September 2007

BBC Radio stations to move multiplexes

BBC Radio stations 1 to 4 will move from their current home on multiplex A to one of the BBC multiplexes on October 3. According to a message on the BBC Radio screens, which have been updated today with the stations’ new logos, viewers will need to re-scan their Freeview receivers in order to continue to receive the channels. The move is in preparation for digital switchover, which begins on October 17.

08 September 2007

ABC1 scrapped

As deeteetee vaguely hinted at last week, Disney have confirmed they will no longer broadcast ABC1 from next month. The inability to extend the channel’s on-air hours on DTT – restricted to 06:00 to 18:00, and not available at all to Welsh Freeview viewers – and the company’s focus on promoting the “Disney” brand were the key factors in the decision to close the channel. No decision on what will replace the channel on Freeview has been made.

Changes on the way for Emap radio stations

According to on-screen messages being carried on the Kerrang! and Heat radio channels, a re-scan will be required on September 12 as Emap radio stations “are changing”. It’s possible that the changes will include the replacement of Heat with a “celebrity” service – as has been approved on various DAB multiplexes – and a permanent replacement for 3C, whose slot is currently broadcasting Glasgow’s Clyde 1.

06 September 2007

S4C launch text service on Freeview

As previously reported on deeteetee, Welsh broadcaster S4C has launched its text service on Freeview. Previously only available on satellite, the bilingual service is now available via the text or red button.

05 September 2007

Bulletin: Rumours, Nuts and um, Bongo

Rumours circulating on the web suggest that a minor but significant television channel will cease broadcasting on October 1. Contenders include The Hits (although this is very unlikely) and ABC1 (who will have been broadcasting for 3 years by then, and could possibly have exhausted their contract). Or, of course, it could be a load of tosh. In other news, Nuts TV is now broadcasting a holding slide in preparation for its launch on September 12, and Television X has been renamed TVX/Red Hot, as the channel will broadcast content from various Red Hot channels on different days of the week from now on.

03 September 2007

Nuts TV placeholder appears

A placeholder for forthcoming Freeview channel Nuts TV has appeared on channel 42. Currently only broadcasting a testcard, the magazine spin-off channel will launch on September 12 at 21:00. Meanwhile, Thomas Cook TV, whose contract to broadcast expired at the end of August, has now been removed from the EPG (channel 41). Nuts TV will broadcast in some of the capacity freed up by it’s removal.