Major Freeview Shakeup: Nine Channels Are Shutting Down

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A major change is coming to Freeview (and Youview) at the end of June, with several channels changing places, nine channels being removed, and others changing their programming and coverage.

These changes were anticipated, due to the upcoming closure of a Freeview Multiplex this month. 

Some were already known, such as the closure of BBC News HD on Freeview, the closure of the Forces TV channel, the launch of E4 Extra and the CBS Channels revamp – but the full list of changes has finally been announced by Freeview today.

Some of the channel changes will take place on June 29, and the rest on June 30.

Family watching FreeviewPlay new
Photo: Freeview

As always, these changes will require a retune on most Freeview devices (though some do this automatically).

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 using a Freeview box.

See our full Freeview guide here.

Why Are There So Many Freeview Changes?

In the old days, each TV channel had to be broadcast on a single frequency. Thanks to digital TV, several channels can now be grouped into a single frequency, and that group is then known as a multiplex.

Several multiplexes (groups of channels) are then broadcast from the transmitter to your home – and your TV / Freeview box knows how to separate the individual channels that are grouped under the same frequency.

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

Since several channels – especially HD channels – currently use the COM7 Multiplex – those channels had to either find room on one of the other multiplexes or shut down.

Freeview Channel Changes On June 29

Freeview Channel Name Changes

4Music – Channel 31 – Changing to E4 Extra

This isn’t just a name change, however – the new E4 Extra channel, which is a spinoff of Channel 4’s E4 channel, will focus on comedies and reality shows for younger audiences (with 4Music shutting down – see below). 

Learn more about the new E4 Extra here.

E4 Extra channel
E4 Extra

Freeview Channel Coverage Changes

COM7 was always a problematic multiplex, in that it only reached limited parts of the UK. With some of the channels moving to a new multiplex, they will now get increased coverage.

The channels getting better coverage on June 29 are:

  • Together TV – Channel 83
  • That’s TV (UK) – Channel 91
  • Quest Red +1 – Channel 71
  • BBC Four HD – Channel 106
  • CBeebies HD – Channel 205

Freeview Channel Closures

Craft Extra – Channel 95 – is shutting down.

Freeview Channel Changes On June 30

Freeview Channel Name Changes

Horror Channel – Channel 41 – Changing to Legend

Again, this is more than a name change – and the new Legend channel will be the home of sci-fi, thriller, fantasy, action and classic horror content.

Legend Channel logo

Learn more about the CBS Channel changes here.

CBS Drama – Channel 61 – Changing To RealityXtra

This will be an extension of sister channel CBS Reality, airing a mixture of legal dramas and true-crime programming.

Along with the name change, the channel’s coverage will be reduced, therefore fewer households in the country will be able to watch it.

Freeview Channel Number And Coverage Changes

That’s Music – Channel 92 – Moving to Channel 91, and rebranding to Classic Hits, with its coverage increased.

Now 80’s – Channel 77 – Reduction in coverage – now available in Manchester only.

That’s TV (UK) – Channel 91 – Switching to Channel 65

Freeview Channel Closures

Some of these channels will remain on other platforms (such as Freesat or the pay-TV companies), while some will shut down completely.

  • FreeSports – Channel 65 (Read more about the removal of FreeSports here)
  • CBS Justice- Channel 69
  • More4+1 Channel 86
  • PBS America+1 Channel 87
  • Forces TV Channel 96
  • BBC News HD Channel 107
  • QVC HD Channel 111
  • QVC Beauty HD Channel 112
  • Quest HD Channel 114
Forces TV mockup
Forces TV Is Going Away

Retune Your Freeview Device

As always, once 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 do this retune automatically, but others will have to retune their devices on both June 29 and June 30 (though you can simply just wait for June 30), usually around midday.

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

To learn more about the upcoming changes, make sure you Subscribe to our free newsletter.

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