SportyStuff TV Ends: A Blow to Freesat And Freeview Fans

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In an unexpected twist that has caught the attention of sports enthusiasts and free-to-air TV viewers across the UK, SportyStuff TV has announced it will turn off its signal for the final time on March 31, 2024.

This decision not only marks the end of Greyhound TV but also signals a shrinking horizon for free-to-air sports broadcasting on Freeview and Freesat.

Launched with ambition and a clear vision to serve underserved sports communities, SportyStuff TV carved out a unique space in the hearts of viewers.

Its commitment to bringing greyhound racing, motorsports, and other less mainstream sports to the forefront of free television was unparalleled.

Its closure, however, is due to “unfortunate external circumstances” (see more details below).

SportyStuff TV’s 12-Year Journey

SportyStuff TV’s journey began with much fanfare and excitement, particularly marked by its launch on Freesat three years ago.

Greyhound dogs racing

The channel’s introduction was seen as a significant addition to the Freesat lineup, offering a fresh and dedicated platform for greyhound racing and other unique sporting categories that often didn’t receive much attention on mainstream sports channels. 

The channel’s focus on greyhound racing was particularly noteworthy, becoming the new home for Racing Post Greyhound TV which had been covering live greyhound racing since 2011.

This move was celebrated by enthusiasts of the sport and seen as a commitment to preserving and promoting greyhound racing to a wider audience.

Beyond racing, SportyStuff TV aimed to broaden its appeal by securing programming from sporting event rights-holders and third-party programme-makers, striving to become “the home for live-sports events that are not available elsewhere on TV.”

Formula 1
Photo: Deposit Photos / Lakasa Studyo

The excitement surrounding SportyStuff TV’s launch on Freesat was also tied to the broader context of free-to-air sports broadcasting.

At a time when the FreeSports channel had been removed from Freesat (and was later removed from Freeview as well) SportyStuff TV’s arrival was a beacon of hope for sports fans who craved access to sports content without the need for a subscription.

On Freesat, SportyStuff TV was available on Channel 250, on Freeview, it was only available via streaming on Channel Box (271), and on Sky, it was available on Channel 427.

Watching Freesat living room 1200-600

SportyStuff TV’s Sudden Closure

Today (Monday), the channel posted a surprising announcement.

The announcement reads, “The shareholders of SportyStuff TV Limited have decided to cease broadcasting and close down the channel.”

This signals the end of an era that began in 2011.

Sporty Stuff TV logo

Kevan Moretti, the chairman & CEO behind SportyStuff TV, expressed a mix of pride and regret in his statement.

“This brings to a close 12 years of service provided by the Company to shareholders and viewers,” Moretti said, acknowledging the hard work and dedication of the production staff, presenters, guests, crew, and suppliers who have been the backbone of the channel throughout its journey.

Despite the closure, Moretti highlighted the channel’s achievements and the unfortunate external circumstances that led to its downfall.

“2023 was the Company’s most successful year of trading, so we leave now at the top of our game,” he remarked.

tv broken channel down 1200

Although the specific external circumstances were not detailed, the implication is clear: Navigating the free-to-air sports broadcasting space has become increasingly difficult in the current digital age.

The Future of Free-to-Air Sports Broadcasting

SportyStuff TV’s shutdown is not just the end of a channel but a significant blow to the landscape of free-to-air sports broadcasting in the UK.

With the channel’s departure from Freesat, Freeview and Sky, viewers have dwindling options for accessing sports content without a subscription.

At the same time, paid sports services such as TNT Sports are raising their prices – so free-to-air sports broadcasts are becoming even more important.

Freesat 4K TV Boxes

The closure is a particular blow to Freesat, as just a few weeks ago the satellite service lost 9 channels overnight when the Great! channels were removed from the platform.

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