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Freeview channel update sees craft channels take hold

Shopping channel Create & Craft has been promoted to Freeview channel 23 as the fallout of the removal of BBC Three continues. Meanwhile, rival craft channel Hochanda has confirmed it's returning to its regular hours two weeks earlier than previously announced.

Channel 23 has become available to Create & Craft following the transfer of Local TV services for Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow to channel 8 earlier this month, which in turn was freed up outside of London by existing services on channel 8 moving to channel 7 - BBC Three's old position.

The craft shopping channel now sits next door to parent channel Ideal World on channel 22.

This in turn has created a gap at channel 36, Create & Craft's old number. QVC's new 1 hour a day +1 service on channel 85 is a hot candidate to move to channel 36 in the future, to sit alongside QVC Beauty on channel 35, under rules allowing sister channels to be located together on the Freeview channel list. Numerous broadcasters have been launching reduced hour placeholder services in order to secure better long-term Freeview slots, much to the annoyance of viewers having to scroll past or delete these one or two hour a day services.

Meanwhile, rival craft channel Hochanda has confirmed it will be returning to its regular hours on Freeview channel 39 from Tuesday, 3rd May 2016, two weeks earlier than previously announced.

The channel lost its slot on the digital terrestrial TV platform at the end of March following a reorganisation of ITV's capacity on Freeview. Hochanda currently sub-lets capacity from ITV's The Store channel. The channel will be available from 6am to 9pm on channel 39 following the reconfiguration on the 3rd.

With Freeview capacity extremely limited, it hasn't yet been confirmed where the space is coming from and whether existing services will close to make way for the extended hours.


  1. Freeview capacity extremely limited?!
    Surely there's loads of spare capacity on COM8 (Arqiva D) where transmitted. (2 services currently at present).
    Likewise on COMUX (LOCAL) where transmitted. (3 services currently at present).
    And if there were less HD channels (Does the likes of CBBC, CBeebies and News channels REALLY need to be in HD?!) and more IPTV channels, this will give even more channel capacity.

    1. There is no further capacity available on the Local TV multiplex. It is only configured to have enough bandwidth for three services at a fixed bitrate.
      COM8 is a temporary multiplex, with limited reach. It will be subject to a frequency change starting in some areas from the end of next year, and in four years' time should be gone altogether.
      The children's and news channels in HD are part of the BBC's drive to move all output to HD. SD broadcasts will ultimately close during the next BBC Charter Period.

    2. So what is the point then in having a temporary multiplex only broadcasting QVC +1 HD and QVC Beauty HD to even less parts of the UK than their SD equivalents that broadcast on COM6?
      What will happen to those channels (or whatever channels are still broadcasting on there) when the multiplex causes?
      And why the need for the frequency changes at the end of 2017?

    3. It's the beginning of the entire digital terrestrial system being transferred to DVB-T2. The transfer from DVB-T to T2 should be finished by the end of 2020, at which point everybody in the UK will need at least Freeview HD equipment. Youview and Freeview play equipment will also work.

      So from the end of 2017. Those that still have old equipment which isn't T2 capable will begin to lose services gradually. Digital terrestrial HD services in the UK already use T2.

      That does not necessarily mean that all channels will be HD after this. In fact, quite a few of them still won't be although the main UK broadcasters are planning for a HD only future.

  2. I thought the plan was to have local TV on Channel 7 all across the UK with Channel 8 reserved for Channel 4 in Wales and BBC Alba in Scotland.
    Instead you now have local TV on Channel 7 in England and Northern Ireland, Channel 4 in Wales and BBC Alba in Scotland and local TV on Channel 8 in Wales and Scotland.

    Why the change of plan?

    1. As reported in late March, there was a U-turn. London Live remained on channel 8, while all other local TV services in England moved to channel 7 at the beginning of the month.


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