Until now, the channel was only available in a smaller number of towns and cities across the UK, piggybacking on the local TV Freeview infrastructure. From 1st April, the channel is now being distributed to just over 90% of UK households on channel 125 via one of broadcast infrastructure company Arqiva's national multiplexes.
Programme highlights for the older children in POP's target audience include Power Rangers Dino Charge, Littlest Pet Shop, Transformers Rescue Bots and Sally Bollywood. POP joins sister channel Tiny POP (for younger children), which has been available across most of the UK on Freeview channel 126 since 23rd October 2014.
On 7th April 2016, POP's other sister channel Kix launches on Freeview channel 127 in local TV coverage areas.
- For viewers who haven't had POP on Freeview channel 125 before, and who can already receive 4Music on channel 18 (which broadcasts on the same frequency), a retune will add the channel.
- For viewers who have been able to receive POP on channel 125 prior to the 1st April, a retune is required to avoid losing the channel.
- POP is also available to viewers with YouView (BT TV, TalkTalk TV, Plusnet TV).
Meanwhile, viewers of ITV's children's channel CITV do now need to retune to continue watching the channel on Freeview - it too has changed frequencies. CBBC meanwhile is extending its broadcast hours to 9pm from 11th April.
The digital terrestrial TV platform is currently in the middle of a shuffle-around, with various services moving around the limited amount of capacity available to Freeview services. In this latest chain of changes, CITV's move (along with part-time ITV3+1) has freed up capacity for POP, which in turn frees up local TV multiplex capacity for Kix, but in the process has cut shopping channel Hochanda's hours on channel 39.