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Rishtey Freeview bandwidth transferred to VIVA

Bandwidth used for South Asian channel Rishtey has been transferred across to VIVA on Freeview, as silence reigns over why Rishtey was removed.

The music channel, which had its hours cut earlier this year, is now broadcasting full-time again on Freeview channel 57, effective yesterday, after it took on Rishtey's vacated bandwidth.

On Monday, Rishtey Europe was abruptly pulled off air on Freeview channel 77, with no explanation offered to viewers.

The channel and sister channel Colors, has also disappeared from the TVPlayer service on Freeview channel 241; a516digital understands this occurred a fortnight ago. 

Rishtey continues as normal on cable and satellite services, as well as the TVPlayer website and mobile apps.

But it seems it's not good news for Rishtey. In the absence of any official announcement, Freeview has removed the Rishtey Europe channel information page from its website. TV Player have not able to confirm the reason for the loss of the channel via Freeview channel 241. After two days of silence, some viewers say they've been actually been told by Rishtey's owners that the channel won't be coming back.

Only last month, Rishtey highlighted the availability of its channel on Freeview in the UK in a press release promoting its worldwide expansion. Freeview channel 77 is still showing a caption stating that Rishtey is currently not available.

Rishtey Europe is part of the Indian division of media giant Viacom, the company that also owns VIVA. VIVA itself has been the subject of sudden, unannounced changes to its Freeview distribution this year, including its move to channel 57 and its multiplex change, which left many viewers unable to watch the channel. It is unclear what the future plans for VIVA on Freeview are.

Since it was last on-air 24 hours on Freeview, VIVA has removed its entertainment programming and become an all-music service apart from teleshopping early in the mornings.

  • Rishtey and VIVA broadcast on Freeview multiplex COM7, which requires viewers to have a compatible device (Freeview HD, Freeview Play, EE TV or YouView) and be already able to receive BBC Four HD on channel 106. COM7 reaches around 70% of UK households. Viewers without the appropriate equipment or outside of the coverage area can't get these channels.