BBC Red Button service on Freeview could move to make way for more YouView channels
Freeview and YouView share the same channel numbering system for terrestrially delivered services. Digital UK is responsible for allocating channel numbers for services that use terrestrial bandwidth.
Currently, Digital UK has reserved channels 400 to 599 for YouView's internet delivered channels, available to viewers with either BT TV or TalkTalk TV, and reserved for local YouView providers such as Hull's KC Home for potential future use. YouView allocates channel numbers within this range.
Channels 1-399 and 600-799 are currently reserved for terrestrial broadcast services, mostly those that are part of the Freeview service. Neither YouView or Digital UK can allocate numbers outside of their own ranges so as to avoid channel number clashes.
YouView has requested that it be allocated more channels as it says that the current channel number allocation is near capacity as a result of a quicker than anticipated rise in demand for internet channel numbers. YouView says it expects to run out of channel numbers in its "general entertainment genre" (channels 400-499) in the next few months.
As a consequence, the interactive/red button service section of the Freeview and YouView TV guide - of which the BBC is currently the only user - would be assigned channels 600-620. BBC Red Button 301 could, according to the proposals, move to channel 600, or 601.
The BBC has confirmed it is supportive of Digital UK consulting on moving its red button services to the proposed new position.
The consultation runs until the 17th June. Digital UK has already announced a reshuffle of Freeview channel numbers on the 3rd September 2014. Depending on the outcome of the consultation, red button streams could join news and children's channels in changing Freeview channel numbers in a single big reshuffle.