More Than 30 Freeview Channels Are Changing Next Week

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Freeview fans, get ready: A major shakeup, which is due to take place on November 4, is going to change channel numbers of more than 30 Freeview channels, following an Ofcom review.

This is in addition to four other channels which already moved this week.

  • November 5 Update: Freeview viewers are now told to wait and NOT retune their devices, until November 8. Read more details here.

Established back in 2002, Freeview is the United Kingdom’s terrestrial television platform. It provides free-to-air TV channels and radio stations (via a Freeview aerial), including more than 80 standard and HD channels (See our full Freeview guide here).

Freeview Play on TV

Last year, Ofcom did a review of public service broadcasting’s prominence, looking to make it easier for viewers to find public channels (BBC1, BBC2, Channel 3 services, Channel 4 and Channel 5).

Following this review, it was discovered that Freeview’s current channel listing meets the needed requirements – except for one: BBC Four, which needs to be in the first 24 channels on the Electronic Programmes Guide (EPG).

In most of the UK, BBC Four is already on Channel 9 (so within the required first 24) – but in Scotland, Channel 9 was allocated to BBC Scotland, with BBC Four residing on Channel 55.

Photo: Deposit Photos – claudiodivizia

Therefore, it was decided that in Scotland, BBC Four will move from Channel 55 to Channel 24. That, however, means that nationwide, all the channels between 24 and 55, will now need to move up one slot.

Sounds confusing? Here’s the important bit – all the channels that are moving, and their new numbering:

Freeview Channel Changes in Scotland only:

Channel Current position New Position 
BBC Four Scotland 55 24 
STV+1 33 34 

Channel Changes in England & Wales only:

Channel Current position New Position 
ITV+1 33 34 

Channel Changes in Northern Ireland only:

Channel Current position New Position 
UTV+1 33 34 

Freeview Channel Changes Nationwide:

Channel Current position New Position 
ITV4 24 25 
Yesterday 25 26 
ITVBE 26 27 
ITV2+1 27 28 
E4+1 28 29 
4Music 29 30 
5STAR 30 31 
Paramount Network 31 32 
Sony Movies 32 33 
Pick TV 34 35 
QVC Beauty 35 36 
QVC Style 36 37 
DMAX37 38 
Quest Red38 39 
CBS Justice 39 40 
Sony Movies Action 40 41 
Food Network 41 42 
HGTV 42 43 
Gems TV 43 44 
Channel 5+1 44 45 
Film4 +1 45 46 
Challenge 46 47 
4Seven 47 48 
Sony Channel 48 49 
TJC49 50 
Sony Movies Classic 50 51 
TG4 51 52 
RTÉ One 52 53 
RTÉ Two 53 54 
5 Select 54 55 

There are going to be no changes to these channels’ broadcast hours or content – the only change is the numbering.

However, depending on your Freeview box, you might need to do a manual retune, so that your electronic programmes guide is up to date.

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

Since this is a major change, there’s fear many viewers will be left in the dark, wondering where their favourite channels have gone (a similar thing happened last August, when many Freeview viewers had to do a retune).

In order to face this potential issue, Digital UK, working with Freeview, are planning to run a national retune campaign.

Activity will include a combination of on-screen retune messages, information on the Freeview website, online advertising, social media activity, and troubleshooting advice via a team of agents at the Freeview Advice Line.

Four More Channels Changed This Week

Earlier this week (on October 27), four other Freeview channels already changed their numbers – so if you’re missing them, you might need a retune for those as well:

  • ITVBe+1 moved from Channel 97 to Channel 57
  • Horror Channel moved from Channel 70 to Channel 68
  • Quest +1 moved from Channel 76 to Channel 69
  • Quest Red+1 moved from Channel 72 to Channel 70

51 thoughts on “More Than 30 Freeview Channels Are Changing Next Week”

    • It can also depend on the type of Freeview device you’re using. Some retune automatically, while others might not change until you manually do a retune

  1. When I read this headline I thought, at last, they were finally going to bring some organisation to the channel list. I can’t believe that after this “major shakeup” everything is more or less the same but for one ascending number. It’s even worse that they couldn’t combine the channels change earlier this week with this one and they had no notification of this change on the Freeview website on Monday

  2. All this retuning is a nuisance. I’m 78yrs old & have to wait for my grandson to retune for me. Someone isn’t very organised in the powers that be. Otherwise we wouldn’t need to retune so often.

  3. I changed pick to 34 & lost Merlin my friend who is disabled agoraphobic used to love this program & no matter how I try I can not get it back all I get is border force which my friend & I are not interested in. Why do you keep changing channels why can’t you leave well enough alone. ????

  4. Since Monday no freeview tv in Darvel, East Ayrshire, Scotland.
    We are in the shadow of the Darvel transmitter. Have to use Iplayer to get anything.
    Deep joy.

  5. I have an old Topfield PVR which picks up the local transmitter and Winter Hill near Bolton. Every retune results in 3 instances of each channel! I then have to delete 2 of them – one has an awful signal strength, so it’s not just a case of deleting the first 2 for each channel. As you can imagine it’s a royal pain in the backside every time there’s a retune required. Oh joy…

  6. My 92 year old mum is due out of hospital soon and has to isolate for 2 weeks.
    She relies on me to re tune and I won’t be able to do this until I can visit, after the isolation period.

    All this constant channel changing is too much for old people to contend with.

    How many waste money they can’t afford, having to pay someone to retune.

    • Only a few weeks ago the channels had changed and when I retuned half the channels were missing at to get the man out to reset the aerial..and I fear the same will happen again…was your channels missing when you retuned your TV??

      • now its just turned the year into 2021 and now for nearly two weeks no bbc dave lots channels not ther due to relist shakeup waste aof time really freeview tv of com of no help whatsoever!!!

        • Nothing to do with these changes. Maybe you have a problem with your installation, maybe you just need a full retune. If there was a problem with transmission there would be dozens of posts all over the place, there aren’t. Check your aerial hasn’t blown over or got damaged and is still pointing the right way. Your coax downlead may have got damaged, got water in it etc., all of which will affect reception. Have you changed any of your equipment, maybe you’ve disturbed something, is there a faulty cable? Such things don’t always affect all channels, just some.

  7. Agreed with everything said regarding grouping channels together.
    Could even be revolutionary and put all BBC, both normal and HD in one place, similar for ITV, C4 etc. Probably never happen but at least it’s worth mentioning.

  8. My area we only get 22 channels on free view. Perth is spit in two. People living in on area, with there telly turned into Dundee gets all the channels People living in the city centre co
    can only get 23 channels and the radio channels are B. B. C.

    • No channels at all since Monday in Granada region due to this change. In tier 3 covid measures and children off school in this area, well done for carrying out this work at this time,!!! The decision maker on this one most have been having a laugh.not acceptable at all.

      • Absolute pain i agree.
        If you have a sky dish i suggest buying a freesat box/recorder from Amazon/Ebay.
        I bought a good 2nd hand 1 yrs ago and still working perfectly.
        Freesat has more channels and completely free no subscriptions
        Lot less loss of signal in bad weather too.
        You can connect your already cable/cables to the freesat box so no setup fees either.

    • Hi I have the same problem in Wales llandudno could only get 26 channels I recently got one of those indoor flat aerial with 1000 miles range now got 108 channels you could try one they are about £5 from ebay one of my very great buys.

    • If you find out which transmitter and multiplexes the other half pick up, you should be able to tune manually to those – assuming there isn’t a great big wall down the middle of the city

  9. Another big change for trivial gain.

    If so many numbers change, it ought to be a once-and-for-all review with sensible numbering, i.e. all home shopping channels in one block (that I’ll ignore), all music channels in one block, Horror as No. 13, so that everybody knows the number already.

    ITV, having previously been the third channel on analog TV, should get the block from No. 30, namely ITV Be 30, ITV1 31 etc.

      • No, why? Is it better? Is it even worse?

        I just about have enough time to go through the EPG on Freeview, so Freesat would never get watched anyway.

    • Hi Peter, at last someone who shares the same logic as me👍.
      I delete a lot of the superfluous channels when there’s a channel re-scan so as to make my epg more relevant to me. I don’t mind doing this if it’s only once in a while but I do find it a bit annoying when it doesn’t seem 5 minutes ago that I done the last one.
      To me this channel reshuffle seems a bit over the top for very little gain especially to do it now if what I hear is correct that a new News Channel is starting up in the New Year and viewers would have to retune again.
      Have a good day Peter.

    • That’s a great idea. Also put all of the +1hr’s together. Maybe in the same order as their parent channels.
      I know you can set favourite channels but having 3 TV’s iny home is a daunting prospect going through them all.

  10. Most people have a HD TV now, I bet all that have do not watch BBC or ITV on channel 101 or channel 103, these should be moved to the start 1& 3.

  11. I agree with the plus 1 channels. Why can’t they group them all together instead of having to scroll down looking for random places they’re currently in.

    • It depends where you are and the condition of your aerial etc.
      Now I’m no aerial installer but after some research I came across a really helpful site that pointed me to check all of my aerial connectors. I went from having around 130 Freeview channels to close on 200 now. That does include multi region selections though. I live in Birmingham but can get ITV East Midlands now if I wanted. All for around a tenners worth of decent Arial connectors. I’ll have a look for that site and post the link here shortly.

  12. Why cant they just put all the pluses next to each other like ITV, ITV+ 1,ITV + 2,ITV +3 etc, instead of been scattered everywhere, it would be a lot easier

  13. What bugs me even more than a channel change is here we are at least 15 years since HD started broadcasting and they STILL haven’t bothered listing HD channels starting from number 1… MADNESS

  14. Absolutely ridiculous. To most people, it’s yet again getting used to new numbers, some illogical eg. 4seven is now on channel 48. For the elderly, it’s having to retune again (many having to get someone to do the retuning for them – not good in these COVID times) and getting confused with the new numbers. Come on Freeview – changes are inevitable, but having several major changes per year is just bad planning.

    • Most of the returning is to do with 5G and other technical problems, making room, etc, etc
      I use FreeSat most of the time, as all the channels are in order, plus there’s more channels.

      • Not correct. All the retunes to do with 700MHz clearance were completed in August. Further retunes are because broadcasters make changes to their services, or in this case because of Freeview’s ridiculous chosen way of complying with an OFCOM requirement.
        A sensible alternative has been suggested –
        Move Channel 5+1 from 44 to 55
        Move Channel 4+1 from 15 to 44
        Move BBC Alba from 7 to 15
        Move BBC Scotland from 9 to 7
        Move BBC Four to 9
        That would comply with OFCOM’s requirement that all PSBs should be in the top 24 LCNs. So 4Seven stays on 47, ITV+1 on 33, then Channel4+1 on 44 and Five+1 on 55. It is also more logical and less disruptive, but they’ve chosen to ignore it (so far).
        People need to get onto @FreeviewAdvice on twitter in large numbers or by email [email protected] and complain about the proposed changes.


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