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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