Channel 4 Shutting Down Five Freesat And Sky Channels

This post may contain affiliate links*

In a move that marks the end of an era for music television in the UK, Channel 4 has officially announced the closure date for its iconic Box music channels.

4Music, The Box, Kiss, Magic, and Kerrang! will bid farewell to viewers on July 1, 2024, as the broadcaster pulls the plug on these linear channels across all platforms, including Freesat, Sky, and Virgin Media.

The decision comes as part of Channel 4’s shift towards digital platforms and streaming, a response to the rapidly changing media landscape and the increasing dominance of online entertainment.

As the broadcaster focuses on investing in content that resonates with viewers in the digital age (and, in particular, targeting Gen Z), it has become clear that the Box music channels no longer fit into its long-term plans – with plans to close more linear channels in the future.

Channel 4’s Music Channels: A Long History

The Box music channels have been a part of the British television landscape for over three decades, with The Box being the first to launch in 1992.

The Box music channels

The channel was originally owned by Video Jukebox Network International and was available on cable and satellite platforms.

Later on, two more music channels joined The Box: Kiss and Magic. Kiss was aimed at a younger, more urban audience with a focus on pop, hip-hop, and R&B, while Magic targeted an older demographic with classic and easy listening music.

Kerrang!, a channel dedicated to rock and alternative music, was added to the portfolio in 2001, taking its name from the popular music magazine.

Kerrang music channel

In 2007, Channel 4 acquired a 50% stake in The Box Plus Network, which operated the four music channels. 

A year later, in 2008, Channel 4 launched its own flagship music and entertainment channel, 4Music.

The channel featured a mix of music videos, alongside entertainment and comedy shows, including popular shows from Channel 4’s main network.

4Music channel logo

In 2013, Channel 4 increased its stake in The Box Plus Network to 100%, giving it full control over the five music channels.

Over the years, these channels have been available on various platforms, including Freeview, Freesat and Sky.

On Freeview, 4Music was replaced by E4 Extra in 2022. 

On Freesat, 4Music has had a turbulent journey: It was added to the platform in 2017, removed in December 2018, and then returned in February 2022 on Channel 181.

Channel 4’s Fast Forward Strategy

However, the media landscape has shifted dramatically in recent years, with streaming platforms becoming increasingly dominant, and even Freeview and Freesat starting to veer towards streaming – with the newly launched Freely service.

In response to these trends, Channel 4 announced its new “Fast Forward” strategy in January 2024.

Channel 4 app on TV

This strategy involves a significant shift towards digital platforms and streaming, with Channel 4 planning to invest more in content that performs well on these platforms, such as drama, documentaries, comedy, and reality shows.

As part of this pivot, Channel 4 announced that it would be closing some of its linear channels, starting with the Box music channels.

Goodbye, Channel 4’s Box Music Channels

Today, Channel 4 confirmed to us that the Box music channels will close on July 1, 2024.

The channels set to be removed from Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media are:

4Music: Launched in 2008, 4Music is Channel 4’s flagship music and entertainment channel. Despite its name, the channel features a mix of music videos and entertainment programming, including popular TV shows like 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Wipeout USA, and How I Met Your Mother.

The Box: The Box is the oldest of the channels, having launched in 1992. It has evolved over the years but remains dedicated to bringing viewers the latest mainstream pop hits.

Kiss: Known for its energetic and youthful vibe, Kiss has been a go-to destination for fans of pop, hip-hop, and R&B since its inception in 1998.

Kiss channel

Magic: Offering a more laid-back and nostalgic musical experience, Magic has been entertaining audiences with its mix of classic hits and easy listening favourites since 1998.

Kerrang!: Taking its name and spirit from the iconic rock magazine, Kerrang! has been championing rock and alternative music on television since 2002.

A Channel 4 spokesperson provided us with the following statement:

“As we announced earlier this year as part of Channel 4’s digital-first Fast Forward strategy, we will be closing our Box network of channels from 1 July across all platforms – as they are no longer of sufficient scale to deliver meaningful return on investment.

“Our strategy reflects the generational shift in TV viewing and involves reducing costs – particularly in linear activities – to allow us to invest in digital priorities and stay competitive in a world of global entertainment conglomerates and social media giants.”

Channel 4 company logo
Photo: Deposit Photos / TKKurikawa

Channel 4 has also indicated that more linear channels may be closed in the future as the broadcaster continues to adapt to the digital era.

However, no further information was provided regarding which channels might be affected or when these closures might occur.

For more TV and streaming news, Sign up for our free weekly newsletter.

1 thought on “Channel 4 Shutting Down Five Freesat And Sky Channels”

  1. They could of kept one channel, it disenfranchises a lot of people, if your not gen x .get lost, if revenue was the only sue they rarely ran add breaks at night how does that make commercial sense.
    Maybe itv or someone similar should step in and buy up some of these channels !


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

man watchin streaming tv on tablet

Get Cord Buster's Free UK TV Streaming Cheatsheet


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get TV And Tech News

Get Bonus Streaming TV Guide