It’s that time of the month again, when a Freeview update is upon us. For November, Freeview fans are getting two new channels – including one dedicated to kids – as well as a major revamp of the AMC/CBS channels.
The changes started to roll out on November 22, but as always, some viewers will need to retune their Freeview devices for the correct new channel names and numbers to fall into place (some devices do this retune automatically – see our recommended Freeview recorders here).
As we previously reported, part of this month’s change includes a complete rebranding of the channels formerly known as “The CBS Channels”, with new brands, new names and even a new app (see more on that below).
Freeview, which started its life back in 2002, is the United Kingdom’s terrestrial television platform. It provides free-to-air TV channels and radio stations (via a Freeview aerial – see the ones we recommend), including more than 80 standard and HD channels. You can watch it on any supported TV, or by using a set-top Freeview box.
To watch Freeview via broadband, you’ll need one of the new subscription-based devices like Sky Stream or Virgin Media Stream (though not all Freeview channels are available on these devices). Next year, Freeview is set to launch its own broadband-based platform – “Freely”.
See our full Freeview guide here.
New Freeview Channels
Two new Freeview channels are being added to the roster this week, and as is often the case these days, they are internet-based channels – meaning they can only be delivered via broadband, and do not reach your house via the aerial.
To watch these streaming Freeview channels, you need a modern Freeview device that supports the HbbTV standard – most modern Smart TVs with Freeview Play, and Freeview Play set-top boxes (like the Manhattan T3-R, Humax Aura and others) already support this standard.
Once your device is connected to broadband, you will be able to reach these IP-only Freeview channels like a normal channel through the TV Guide.
A channel dedicated to animated shows for children, with shows such as Misho and Robin, The Dreamstone, Daniel Tiger and more.
Moochi will be available on Freeview Channel 213.
TV Extra will be available on Freeview Channel 291.
The channel seems to be a hub for the Create and Craft shopping channels – but we’ve reached out to Freeview for more information.
CBS Channels Changing
The upcoming changes to AMC Networks’ channels in the UK, previously known as CBS Channels, mark a significant shift in their Freeview presence.
A year ago, CBS’ free-to-air channels already went through a major rebrand, where three CBS channels experienced name and programming changes.
At the time, The Horror Channel transitioned to Legend, expanding its genre to include sci-fi, thriller, fantasy, and action alongside classic horror.
CBS Justice was shut down, with some of its crime and courtroom dramas moving over to Legend. CBS Drama morphed into RealityXtra, extending the CBS Reality brand to offer a mix of legal dramas and true-crime programming.
And, a new channel, HorrorXtra, launched to fill the horror genre void left by the original Horror Channel’s transformation into Legend. Meanwhile, CBS Reality remained unchanged back then.
Today (November 22), more changes are coming – aiming to streamline the brand’s offerings and broaden its appeal. Key transformations include:
Renaming CBS Reality to True Crime: This change reflects the channel’s focus on real-life crime narratives. CBS Reality, currently available on multiple platforms including Freeview, Freesat, Sky, and Virgin Media, will undergo this rebranding to better align with its content which includes shows like Evidence of Evil and Murder by the Sea
With this new name, the CBS brand will no longer exist on UK screens.
Introduction of Watch Free UK App: Replacing the CBS Catchup Channels app, Watch Free UK will house on-demand content from the newly branded True Crime and Legend channels.
This move follows the CBS Catchup app’s expansion to various platforms since its launch in 2022
Changes to Other Channels in the Portfolio: The entertainment channel Legend will undergo a brand transformation but retain its name (just changing to a capitalised version – LEGEND), featuring content like The Six Million Dollar Man and Walker Texas Ranger.
Additionally, Horror Xtra will be rebranded as LEGEND XTRA, and Reality Xtra will become TRUE CRIME XTRA, including their respective time-shift versions.
So, to summarise the upcoming changes to these channels:
- Legend will be rebranded as LEGEND with a new logo, and will remain on Freeview Channel 41.
- CBS Reality will change to TRUE CRIME and will be available on Freeview Channel 67.
- RealityXtra will be renamed to TRUE CRIME XTRA and will be found on Freeview Channel 68.
- HorrorXtra will be rebranded as LEGEND XTRA and will be on Freeview Channel 69.
More Freeview Channel Changes
Lastly, two additional Freeview channels are changing their names this week:
That’s 80s (Manchester) will be rebranded as Best Xmas Music (for the festive seasons) and will be available on Freeview Channel 80 in Manchester.