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Discovery to be boosted by Sky EPG change

The biggest ever channel reshuffle on Sky takes place on 1st May 2018, with major changes across the channel listing.

Despite positioning itself as the UK's premium pay TV platform, years of changes to the channel line-up has left the order in which channels appear to subscribers in a state of disorganisation, with viewers encountering a seemingly random list of channels, with some genres overspilling into completely different areas of the channel list.

Discovery will become one of the main beneficiaries of the change, with its flagship channel moving from 520 to 125. Other factual entertainment channels including History will also receive a boost up the channel list, moving to 130, after Nat Geo on 129. Meanwhile, music channel 4Music officially gets re-categorised as an entertainment channel, reflecting a drop in the amount of time dedicated to playing music videos. It will move to channel 139.

A new combined entertainment and documentaries area takes the first 100 places, with +1 channels located exactly 100 slots below. Movies and music stay in the 300 range, while the 400 range will be the home of a tidied-up sports genre, and an overspill for the entertainment and documentaries area from channel 450. News is brought together in the 500s, with specialist and religious channels in the 550s and 580s range. Children's TV remains in the 600s, with shopping channels starting at 660. International channels will start from 701.

A new system also comes in place surrounding standard and high definition channels. As before, both versions will appear in the EPG, and viewers with the necessary equipment and/or subscription will be offered the HD version on the prime channel number for each channel, with the SD version appearing in the 800s. However, if it is not possible to swap a SD channel with an HD channel, then different arrangements will apply, including Channel 4 HD - which has been allocated channel 138.

Individual channels have now begun to communicate the changes to their viewers, with an influx of on-screen messages expected to appear on various channels between now and the beginning of May. The changes follow a consultation between Sky and the broadcasters last year.

  • Update 28/03/2018: Since publishing this article, C4HD and 4Music are being allocated different numbers, in a change to the original master EPG list sent to broadcasters and stakeholders: C4HD is assigned 138, not 139 and 4Music 139, not 138.