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.

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18 thoughts on “Major Freeview Shakeup: Nine Channels Are Shutting Down”

  1. Freeview and Freesat will be a thing of the past in ten years. As will live tv in general on any platform. On Demand, watching what we want when we want is the future ahead.

  2. When the original switch from analogue TV to digital i.e. Freeview TV took place the amount of radio spectrum ‘given’ to TV was already, much, much reduced compared to analogue days. This spectrum was given to the mobile networks. At the time this was ok, the mobile networks needed it, and digital TV was so much more efficient that even with this loss of spectrum it could not only do more channels but also some HD channels.

    However since then we have now lost two entire Freeview multiplexes. As a result the number of channels available has gone down when logic and demand would be in the opposite direction.

    Again as others have mentioned since the small addition of some DVB-T/H.264 use, zero further use of this has been made. If again as others have mentioned more multiplexes were switched to DVB-T2/H.264 then this loss of multiplexes could have been compensated for.

    Sadly our glorious leaders (in all parties) have repeatedly shown themselves to be utterly technically illiterate. (The repeated failure to implement tidal power energy schemes is another example but that is a different story).

    So we have a failure to increase the use of DVB-T2/H.264 both of which have been now established for many, many years and hence the overwhelming majority of TV sets support these and yes at least one multiplex should be kept on DVB-T/MPEG2.

    We also have the failure to implement any DVB-T2/H.265 which would make 4K possible. This is something that has been available in parts of Europe for years and again a significant but smaller number of TV sets already support this. This is idiotic, the TV and technology worlds are getting ready to provide 8K and the UK has failed to even do 4K yet!

    So we had a justified original spectrum grab during the digital switch over and now two further spectrum thefts since with no compensating technical changes that are possible.

    What has NOT been mentioned here yet is that 3G will be turned off soon, it seems varying depending on provider but between 2023 and 2024. This in theory will free up a substantial amount of radio spectrum. I am not a broadcast expert so do not know if this section of spectrum is suitable for Freeview but even if not, logically it could be allocated to 4G or 5G and then the spectrum ‘stolen’ from Freeview could be returned as the 2G/36 spectrum more than equals that.

    Sadly I am of the opinion that even if this was possible it is not going to happen. 🙁

    On a related topic, DAB radio is a similar disaster story. It is literally a version 1 technology and totally obsolete. It is to an audiophile a terrible technology. Many of the radio streams are equivalent to 128Kbps MP3 quality. Again there are technically superior options that have been developed since but our illiterate politicians have persisted in only enabling this obsolete DAB standard. What is worse is that they repeatedly talk about turning off FM radio so as to steal the radio spectrum FM uses and to force everyone on to DAB. So far it seems the howls of outrage from audiophiles has kept this at bay, although it maybe more down to the fact that DAB unlike some other more modern and better digital radio systems is particularly bad for use in motor vehicles which are moving and going through tunnels and built up areas.

    • Technically illiterate is all too true of governments. Too many graduates of PPE, career politicians with little interest in the world other than one ideology or the other when it comes to politics. They are incapable of dispassionately looking at technology or health or science dispassionately without viewing it through the lens of left or right. The right can’t see any way apart from free-market, small state and little or no regulation and the left think it needs nationalising to run properly.
      [Please folks I don’t need “correcting” on this, it’s a generalisation of the hopeless polarisation of our country’s politics ATM. We need more work on finding workable, successful middle ground solutions, the sort of solutions that the coalitions of many Euopean states find – Pragmatism and compromise are NOT dirty words. “Decisive” government by despotic regimes doesn’t get interested in the apolitical details… and it shows!]
      However, I think you will find that there are *some* DAB+ channels in the UK using the more efficient AAC rather than being limited to the technically inferior MP2 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer II), we aren’t *completely* backward. Unfortunately it doesn’t amount to much when the vast majority of commercial broadcasters have chosen mono at very low bitrates so there is no quality only a wide choice. The music choice is there so they can find the right formula to get our ears hearing Matt Berry’s voice giving us the adverts.
      It seems that the BBC sits in the awkward position of continuing to use the old DAB so that it doesn’t cut off the people with old equipment… always a millstone for the BBC. “We pay our licence fee and you don’t support us, you move the goal posts”.
      DAB, like digital TV, has been given the freedom to find ways to provide commercial “opportunities” rather than cultural enrichment. I’m not a woke leftie, I would be happy to be called a woke centrist. The commercial channels would have my green light, but I would expect them to have to reach a higher technical standard of service – I suspect the government’s main concern was like commercial TV and rail franchises, how much can they auction the franchise for. Government coffers win, service-users lose.

  3. Like the old saying goes “Money talks!” Take the HD and we’ll watched channels like Forces TV Cbs and now 80’s but leave the shopping and porn channels who make freeview and youview money not to mention how much they got off EE for 5g that many many people including myself who live in a large metropolitan city struggle to get 4g not a happy bunny at all. Does this mean we’re going to pay less for our cable channels? I think we all know the answer to that 😆

  4. I agree with many of the comments along the lines of: why not close shopping or “adult” channels; why close a multiplex of HD channels (one of only two remaining multiplexes which were configured for HD broadcasts).
    The answer is that OFCOM is a regulator on behalf of government.
    Porn and shopping probably make someone some money, even if we rightly judge them to be of no value to society, much less than what we have lost!
    Even accepting that the government was intent on gaining income from the sale of spectrum via the auction to EE… any broadcast engineer could look ahead and devise a plan, but that plan would need political and OFCOM backing to drive forward. More of the multiplexes needed to switch from the original DVB-T to DVB-T2 which carries more bandwidth and allows H264 coding and that permits HD channels.

    COM7 & COM8 were created as temporary multiplexes using DVB-T2 and so were capable of carrying HD, along with PSB3 (which carries the core mixture of HD BBC, ITV,C4,C5). So, for a while, we had 3 multiplexes with more bandwidth and capable of HD. Then COM8 was closed, then COM7 was closed. These closures were always known and many industry insiders expected some re-engineering to compensate for the closure of COM7+8. Several years would have gone by, many more TVs and recorders would be able to decode DVB-T2 and HD, so it was anticipated that the balance of multiplexes would change over time so that instead of a minimum core of HD services going out on one national multiplex (PSB3) the majority of multiplexes would be switched to DVB-T2 and a core service would be retained on DVB-T so as to provide a service to legacy devices which could only manage DVB-T reception. It might have been just one or possibly two multiplexes to provide that service, a somewhat political decision, “above the paygrade” of OFCOM. This is the sort of decision which would rest with government, the Dept. Culture, Media & Sport.

    To have reached a sensible decision the government/DCMS would have needed “a plan” – in case people haven’t noticed, we have had a government which isn’t too strong on “plans” for quite some time. They would rather create their own distractions than do meaningful things like manage telecoms operators to detect and quickly shutdown bulk phone/spam callers committing fraud. They haven’t been at all interested in managing the terrestrial/Freeview transmission changes as these have come (predictably) over the horizon. I won’t go into the nonsense of the Channel 4 sell-off – but it is symptomatic that government only does things because they will play well with some tabloids and will keep some broadcasters “under control” (under the stiletto heel).

    The fact that we have reached the 2022 without any changes is symptomatic of the last few years of a lack of attention to details.

  5. Very disappointing, you buy a TV to access HD ( paying more for the privilege) & then ‘they’ decide to change your access 🤷‍♀️

  6. Ofcom are a toothless organisation. Giving up a multiplex just so EE can provide 5G, I struggle to get 4G at times. How many people actually WANT 5G? Personally I’d have got rid of some, if not all, of the shopping channels. As someone pointed out, do children’s channels really need a HD version? As I said toothless organisation, just like Ofgem, rolling over and giving in. No thought for what the viewer wants. All about money

  7. Great three channels i watch a lot taken off Freeview. Now Freesports going nowhere to watch ice hockey ( including British ice hockey). Forces Tv going always something to watch. CBS Justice a channel my household watch a lot of (more than 3 hours a day). Yet i notice there is plenty of room on Freeview for porn channels. Why not get rid of some of those and why do we need so many radio stations on Freeview?

  8. As with other comments, I would have thought keeping BBC news as an HD channel would have been a priority. Also the closure of Forces TV is a shame and not just because of the classic comedy and sci-fi shows that we’re broadcast but because of the unique perspective available through news bulletins and specially commissioned programmes. I can see freeview being squeezed more and more in the future because of avaricious mobile networks and governments who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Decisions like this and others such as the potential move of BBC 4 to on-line only will mean the marginalisation of a significant section of the UK population who either because of personal choice or financial constraints do not have access to subscription or streaming services.

    • Totally agree with you. I have objected, when possible, to 5g because of the information given out that it is dangerous to insects, disorientating them. I don’t know if there is any truth in this. But why this obsession with Internet going faster and faster. Probably end up going at a speed incapable of being dealt with. There are many other things that could do with being sped up, like improving services.
      We spend money to put stuff into space, but can’t sort out the country’s transport system!!

    • 100% true comment , I found this channel so relaxing when I felt down, so much better than the depressing modern political crap on normal channels


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