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Craft Channel falls off air after two months of troubles

Teleshopping service The Craft Channel has ceased broadcasting on Sky and Freesat, two months after its Freeview slot was axed.

Viewers are currently being advised that the channel is "currently unavailable". The channel had been screening repeats since around mid-January. Meanwhile, customers who have recently ordered products from the channel have complained that they have not received their orders and have been left out of pocket.

New documentation released by the administrators appointed by the company (UHY Hacker Young) confirm that in the past few weeks The Craft Channel has been heading toward liquidation and that the channel didn't have access to its warehouse stock following non-payment of warehouse fees.

The company was originally expecting £3million to be invested by German home shopping network HSE during the week of 21st November. But investment was pulled, triggering off the troubles at the channel, with Freeview transmissions ceasing two weeks later following the channel's descent into administration. Multiplex operator Arqiva, who provided the capacity for The Craft Channel to be on Freeview is listed as an unsecured creditor in the company. Additionally, 26 staff members were made redundant. It is understood the administrators have held "a meeting of creditors by correspondence" in the past week to decide the ultimate fate of the company, which appears to account for the recent loss of service. We've not been able to get any comment from the channel.

In January, The Craft Channel issued a statement confirming that on the 5th December 2016, an agreement was entered into for certain assets to be purchased by Agency Communications Ltd, who then commenced trading as The Craft Channel (the brand, but not the limited company), although Companies House information indicates a number of Directors at Agency Communications Ltd, who were involved in the transaction have now resigned.

The Craft Channel launched on various platforms in 2015, at nearly the same time as rival Hochanda, as part of a new wave of craft-orientated TV channels, a wave that is still rolling: earlier this week, a new channel dedicated to sewing launched on Freeview channel 78.