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FreeSports planning cable and satellite launch

The UK's newest free-to-air sports channel is planning a wide ranging launch across all platforms.

Last month, FreeSports got the regulatory green light with licences from Ofcom covering terrestrial, cable and satellite distribution. It also received a Freeview slot and is currently assigned channel 95.

It now appears that the channel is planning to appear on every major TV platform in the UK.

On Sky UK, the channel is expected to take a slot in the EPG on channel 424, in the neighbourhood between Chelsea TV HD and BT Sport ESPN HD. Freesat and Virgin Media channel details are still unknown, but are being worked on. The channel is not expected to appear on Irish platforms. With the launch across multiple television services, FreeSports will be in a position to reach nearly every viewer in the UK.

The channel's launch is scheduled for the 31st August 2017, and will offer live and recorded coverage of sports including tennis, rugby and football. FreeSports is linked to the existing Premier Sports premium sports channel.

Freeview coverage is currently confined to around 75% of the UK, so satellite and cable distribution are required to provide a UK-wide service. Of those in the Freeview coverage area,  newer Freeview devices with DVB-T2 tuners, e.g. Freeview HD, Freeview Play or YouView, EE TV or Now TV Smart Boxes are required. Through the in-built Freeview tuner in YouView boxes, viewers with the likes of BT TV and TalkTalk TV will be able to watch, too - subject to coverage. Viewers are already able to see if they will receive the channel or not - a holding slate appears on channel 95 in the channel's future coverage area.

However, over on satellite, pre-launch test transmissions for the service haven't yet been observed by our reception reporters.