More surprise Freeview changes

Channel 5 owner Viacom continues to shuffle its channel offering on Freeview, with a further surprise change in broadcast hours for its music channel VIVA.

From this week, VIVA, which is only available to viewers in parts of the UK with DVB-T2 compatible receivers (e.g. Freeview HD/YouView boxes) now broadcasts between 5am and 6pm on channel 57, the second change in its Freeview broadcast hours in the last three months.

5USA+1, a timeshift of the existing channel, shares the bandwidth, and is now available on channel 83 from 6pm every evening, again only for viewers with DVB-T2 compatible devices who are in VIVA's Freeview coverage area.

The bandwidth being used for this timeshare arrangement was previously used by Hindi channel Rishtey on channel 77, operated by a subsidary of Viacom, which was pulled suddenly on 30th November 2015, prompting a flurry of queries from confused viewers. Rishtey continues on other platforms. Channel 77 is currently still blank, but contains Rishtey programme data. Rishtey will need to be restored soon or else it will lose its channel slot on Freeview under rules governing the allocation of Freeview channel numbers.

Recent changes to various channels above channel 70 have already triggered a minor channel reshuffle, with YourTV and YourTV+1 moving together on the Freeview channel list. Existing gaps in the channel number order look set to be filled through further channel reshuffles in the future.

  • If you don't have a Freeview HD or YouView box, there's no need to take any action.
  • If you have Freeview HD or YouView and can't get BBC Four HD on channel 106 (the same frequency used for VIVA), you don't need to take any action.
  • If you have Freeview HD or YouView and can get BBC Four HD on channel 106 and the existing VIVA service on channel 57, your TV or box should automatically scan and add 5USA+1 to channel 83, especially if you leave your TV/box on channel 57 for a few moments, triggering a background scan of the multiplex carrying the service. Only if this fails should a retune be initiated, providing you want 5USA+1.

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  1. So Motors TV was not pulled to be replaced by 5USA+1 as originally thought? I wonder if there is a replacement lined up... It is interesting why 5USA+1 did not get one of the lower LCNs that are vacant - 75, 78, 79

    1. Channel 75 was the subject of a recent consultation - it could become the home of QVC+1 HD...

    2. More justification than ever for a dedicated shopping channel, and QVC etc. should be made to pay for not agreeing earlier by shipping it out to around channel 150, the first viable slots it could take.

      In all seriousness though I think QVC+1 surely gets more eyeballs amongst the few HD channels than it would in the late 70s. I rarely stray past the 40s in the generic channel section.


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