Another Freeview / Freesat Channel Shutting Down: Forces TV

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Forces TV, a channel that’s been around since 2014 and is currently dedicated to cult TV shows from the 70s and 80s, is shutting down and will be removed from Freeview, Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

The channel is currently available on Freeview (and YouView) Channel 96, Freesat Channel 165, Sky Channel 181 and Virgin Media channel 274.

The channel’s last day on air will be June 30. 

Forces TV’s closure is part of a wider set of changes being brought upon by the upcoming closure of a Freeview multiplex – though in this case, the channel is leaving all of its TV platforms, including Freesat and the pay-TV companies.

According to the charity behind Forces TV, it became financially unviable to run the channel, due to the upcoming Freeview reception changes.

Forces TV logo

Forces TV, which is operated by the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) started its life as a channel dedicated to the armed forces, with news reports and documentaries about the military.

Over the years, however, the channel became a home for classic (and often cult) TV shows, mostly from the 70s and 80s.

In recent months, for example, some of Forces TV’s content included episodes of Blake’s 7, CHiPs, and even classic Doctor Who episodes on weekends.

Doctor Who shada tom baker
Photo: BBC

The channel’s daily news programme, Forces News, brought military news and updates from around the world, and was one of the last remaining bastions of the channel’s original mission statement.

In a statement issued by the channel today, Forces TV bid farewell to its audience:

“With wider changes happening to Freeview, options to continue broadcasting the channel are not financially viable for BFBS, the charity behind Forces TV, whose purpose is to entertain, inform, connect and champion our armed forces community, their families and veterans.

“Our priority is to give the best possible service to our military audiences. For everyone interested in the work of the UK military, all the news, features, sport plus more, will still be available on our digital channels, including Forces News Youtube and on

“For our ‘Best of British’ viewers, we really enjoyed bringing you some treasured broadcast TV favourites over the last 7 years. And we thank you for your loyal support.”

More Freeview Changes Coming

Forces TV’s closure is just one in a long list of Freeview changes that will take place near the end of June.

The changes are due to the closure of a Freeview Multiplex (COM7) that is set to happen on June 30.

Back in the day, every TV channel was broadcast on a single frequency. Thanks to digital TV, several channels can be grouped into a single frequency, and that group is then known as a multiplex.

At the end of June, a multiplex known as COM7 will close, after EE bought the rights to use its frequency for 5G mobile signals (the frequency was auctioned off by Ofcom last year).

Family watching FreeviewPlay new
Photo: Freeview

Many other Freeview channels that are currently using COM7 are also expected to move, change or shut down completely by the end of the month due to its closure, with exact details set to be announced later this month.

By now, we know that BBC News HD is shutting down on Freeview, while Channel 4 is launching a new channel, E4 Extra, but at the same time will be removing 4Music from Freeview (though it will remain on Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media).

Retune Your Freeview Device

As always, once all these changes take place, you may need to retune your Freeview device, or else the channel numbers and names won’t be correct.

Some Freeview boxes (see the one we recommend) do this retune automatically. While we know when Forces TV is shutting down (June 30), Freeview is yet to announce when exactly the other changes are set to take place.

You can find more information on how to retune your device, in Freeview’s retuning help section.

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30 thoughts on “Another Freeview / Freesat Channel Shutting Down: Forces TV”

  1. I agree with Marcus28. T.v. nowadays is brain dead. If you don’t like reality programmes, there is just nothing to watch. As televisions have improved the content has gone down the toilet. I think in a few years there won’t be t.v.

  2. Who do you report OFCOM to, they just think about the younger generations with their 5g .Stuff everyone else who live in the sticks who might never receive 5g in their lifetime . Forces TV should content that is only available to purchase from the BBC did that have anything to do with it. Where was the consultation before selling these frequencies off. We can vote to change the government but not Ofcom?

  3. Absolutely gutted to lose Forces TV
    The series ‘Watching’ was brilliant, well written, with an excellent cast it was unpredictable comedy at it’s very best!
    Nothing but rubbish and funeral / life insurance ads on other daytime channels

  4. Totally devastated that my favourite channel is shutting down. I’ll miss shows like Spenser, Blakes 7, Dear John, Return of the Saint and numerous others which have brought back so many good memories of the bygone era of classic tv shows

  5. I love to watch BBC NEWS HD But If This Is Closing It Would Be a Shame and Now 80s are Closing Down as wall we miss some Channel We miss you all the Forces Tv on Channel 96 on Freeview so Farewell and Goodbye we wish you Very Much

  6. TV these days isn’t worth watching, as when looking through channels all you got was something else to please those who didn’t like the good sense of humour from the 70’s and 80’s as this channel was at the high no. up the list to spot because most just go through a few pages of TV listings,
    as Forces TV on 274 was on V,M as not a lot search that far up,
    Plus I have a gut feeling why is because this era doesn’t like the humour a lot still like as all of this, even TV companies and Channels are causing too much Diversity,
    Good Job I bought what they show on DVD , Blu-Ray as the way TV is heading, It’s going to be a blank screen as people will be turning off, not paying for something thrown in there faces,
    Nothing like pleasing the others,
    Even the Government, OfCom are as bad,
    Lost the plot and it’s even backfiring on streaming services as that is starting to dye because people are getting wise to what they are showing and nothing is never yours to keep if buying a streaming programme or film,
    Bye Bye TV as I don’t bother through the day watch it as it is rubbish as now Forces TV has gone, Silence is better to have than pay the fat cats for rubbish.

  7. I agree with everyone here. Public opinions are often ignored or this wouldn’t go ahead. Forces TV was as good as the original Bravo channel of the nineties and I can’t give better praise than that!

  8. Great more mobile coverage at the expense of true entertainment pleasure, I dont care about stupid 5G just give me my classic TV. EE can get lost, rubbish network anyway.

    • Best thing to do whichever customers watches forces and are with ee which is myself included should threaten not to renew their contracts with them which is what I’m going to do as a result of this as I enjoy this channel but unfortunately many people just take these things on the chin in this country that’s why different organisations including government bodies are getting away with so much.

  9. Such sad news we are losing Forces TV, my elderly parents loved this channel as do I, my elderly parents and in-laws they just don’t like all the misery, bad language and valance all the others channels have to offer, why don’t the government think of these things before allowing the sales to these giant mobile companies

  10. Why hasn’t this useless government stepped in to stop OfCOM selling off frequencies to mobile networks? I can ONLY afford Freeview. Freesat, Sky TV, Netflix etc are NOT options for me & I’m sure others will feel the same going through the current hell that is the cost of living crisis. I’m fed up of losing Freeview channels I’ve got used to.

  11. What is so sad here is that ForcesTV had built a reputation for screening very good and highly watchable classic action/drama, cult sci-fi, classic 80’s British sitcoms which other channels don’t/won’t. Other channels including the mainstream BBC and ITV now cater for 20/30 somethings exclusively with a diet of derivative gameshows, chat shows, (crime only) dramas, fame wannabe singing and talent shows, property porn, police chase documentaries, and reality shows where viewers have to watch non-stop preening, bitching and the sexual hang-ups of plastic botoxed, lip-fillered and gym toned narcissists. The UK’s actors and scriptwriters have been swept out of the way for a schedule full of z-celebs puking in the jungle or singing incognito with masks over their heads. There is no variety; no imagination; no innovation. Even kids dramas have been banished off mainstream tv to the internet.

    ForcesTV kept all of that rubbish off, putting on cult classics instead. Much appreciated by more people than many realise. And it’s all going for more pouting selfies of lip fillered plastic 20 somethings to share the usual hideous photoshop and filtered images of each other on their phones.

    Quite frankly, it’s disgusting and a national disgrace what mainstream tv has become in the UK 😢

  12. So disappointed that Forces TV is shutting down. Was a great channel, not only for classic/cult programmes; also their documentaries. Well done Ofcon for kicking freeview viewers in the nuts once again

    • All the best channels are being removed from so called freeview, I still have to pay the BBC tax. I knew it was a con, why should all these frequencies go to mobile phones. Bring back proper VHF and UHF analog TV

      • The BBC / ITV Shut down VHF TV Services in the 1980’s to be replacement by UHF 625 line, We only 4 or 5 channels, if the Government had not sold of VHF 405 line to mobile phone companies, We may have had only 7 channels some from the BBC and ITV, Imagine having a BBC3 as early as the 1970’s or ITV2 or ITV3 in the early 1980’s and 1990’s.

  13. It Shame that forces tv is closing down because people like old classics like blake 7 and classic watching with Emma wray and Paul bown you don’t see on TV these days i wish freeview get a gold tv channel on freeview as free don’t have to pay like you do for sky it a cost a lot of money for sky freeview is free I wish freeview rescue come with a classic channe for people that won’t miss out on their favourite classic 70s and 80s on freeview when forces tv closes down on June 30 i undstand bbc news hd yes but not forces tv its a good channel to watch classics on there won’t be a other channel like forces tv on freeview channel 96 i think freeview should Get gold channel as free on freeview channel 96 so it does not have to close down again for other things like forces tv is closing for to make i think its stupid to channel freeview 96 for a other one from Daniel Clapham

    • Hi Daniel,
      The closest channel for classics is That’s TV on channel 91. It doesn’t have a massive volume of classics like Forces TV which I will miss too, but That’s TV shows some classics that haven’t been seen for years including Benny Hill, Russ Abbot, Kenny Everett, Hale and Pace, Tommy Cooper, Harry Enfield, Frankie Howerd, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Goodies, The Mrs Merton Show plus other classic shows like Rik Mayall Presents, Nearest and Dearest, Not On Your Nellie and All In Good Faith. Not as large a collection as Forces but a very good replacement for those who like classic comedy shows, and all uncut too.

      • Hi all,
        To add to the isolation and discontent, there are now at least six channels were the signal has become suddenly ‘signal too weak’, including for me at least That’s TV.
        I can no longer afford WWW connectivity, I cannot afford subscription services, I am seriously looking at giving up mobile phone (currently EE, how ironic) due to cost.
        Guess I am to become a social leper, in my retirement.
        I was always proud to be an armed forces veteran, and proud to be kept up-to-date of those young people today who wear a uniform.
        So much for the falsehood of the armed forces ‘covenant’.

        • Armed forces folk are not respected in this country.

          I not talking about disrespect from young people / left wing or what you’d call the usual suspects.

          I mean from everyone. Armed force folk end up homeless, in prison or in poverty and no one cares. People care more about football, holidays, etc. Sad.

          Actually the right wing are the ultimate hypocrites because they bang on about the army, but don’t really care what happens to people after they leave or the pay when they are in service for that matter.


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