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Olympics: Changes to BBC services on Freeview

UPDATED | BBC Four HD will be available to all Freeview HD viewers during the Olympics as part of major reshuffle of BBC channels to cater for additional coverage of the event.

On the 27th July, the BBC will move BBC Four HD to a temporary new home, enabling all households with Freeview HD to see the channel for the first time. BBC Four will become an Olympic sports channel for the duration of the Rio Olympics.

CBBC HD and CBeebies HD are also affected by changes, while there will be additional streams of coverage available from channel 600. But the number of extra streams will be receiver and coverage dependent.

Do I need to retune?
Viewers who only have standard definition Freeview (i.e. no channels listed between 101 and 119) shouldn't need to retune on account of these changes, if they already have BBC RB 0 on channel 600.

Viewers with Freeview HD may need to retune, depending on the receiver. Some devices will automatically make changes.

  • Series links set up for BBC Four HD, CBBC HD and CBeebies HD won't work through the transition. There are no changes to the standard definition versions of these channels (9, 120 and 121)
  • Some viewers will temporarily lose CBBC HD. CBBC in standard definition (120) continues as normal. 
  • Only viewers with a DVB-T2 compatible device (Freeview HD, Freeview Play, YouView - BT TV, TalkTalk TV, Plusnet TV or EE TV ) and who can already receive channels 106-113 will get the full Olympic service.

Viewers who need help with retuning should visit the Freeview website or call the Freeview Advice Line for help.

Overview of the changes

BBC Four HD (channel 106)
The channel moves to a new frequency on the 27th July. You may need to retune to keep watching. During the Olympics, BBC Four's broadcast hours will be extended and normal programmes will be replaced by live Olympic coverage from 1pm everyday.

BBC Four HD will be available to everyone who can receive Freeview HD, including viewers with YouView and EE TV. Series links for the channel will not transfer.

BBC Four SD (channel 9) will extend broadcast hours in line with the HD version, but no retune is needed and series links aren't affected.

CBBC HD (channel 123)
This channel closes on 27th July. A temporary CBBC HD channel will appear on channel 97 for some viewers only - if you can already receive BBC News HD on channel 107, then channel 97 should be available, if not you will lose the channel until 23rd August. You may need to retune. Series links will not transfer to the temporary channel and vice versa.
On 23rd August, the temporary CBBC HD channel closes and is restored to channel 123.

CBeebies HD (channel 124)
CBeebies HD will be moved to new broadcast capacity on 27th July. Coverage of the channel remains limited to just over 70% of the UK. You may need to retune. Series links will not transfer when the channel changes frequency.

BBC Parliament (channel 131)
Update - Originally due to be removed during the Olympics. This channel will remain configured in the event of a recall, given recent political developments and international events.

BBC RB 0 (channel 600)
All Freeview viewers will be able to access Olympic coverage on this channel during the Olympics. Most viewers can already see BBC RB 0 on channel 600 and won't need to take any action to watch this service when it goes live. An HD simulcast of this channel will be available to some viewers on channel 114 from 7pm every night - see BBC Olympics HD below.

BBC RB 1 (channel 601)
All Freeview viewers can already receive this channel. However, in order to allow BBC Four SD to broadcast for longer, BBC RB 1's broadcast hours will be reduced. The channel will be live every evening from Rio and timesharing capacity with CBBC, so it will only be live during those hours CBBC isn't on-air. Some viewers will be able to watch a 24/7 version of this channel on channel 608 - see below.

BBC RB 2 and 3 (channels 602 and 603)
Currently only visible on Freeview HD receivers, these services will change frequency for the Olympics and offer 24/7 coverage. Viewers who can already receive the QVC HD channels on 111/112 will be able to access these channels. A retune may be required.

BBC RB 4-7 & RB 1 simulcast (channels 604-608)
Viewers who can already receive the QVC HD channels on 111/112 will be able to access these channels. A retune may be required. Channel 608 is a 24/7 version on channel 601.

BBC Olympics HD (channel 114)
Evenings only from 7pm. Viewers who can already receive the QVC HD channels on 111/112 will be able to access this channel. A retune may be required.