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Keep It Country announces Freeview expansion


Country music for the masses? Keep It Country has confirmed it will be expanding its Freeview coverage.

Currently available in some areas of the UK, and only on newer Freeview receivers, the channel will become available to more viewers on the 21st January 2019, its third anniversary.

Keep It Country has promised to issue further details shortly, but says the move will make the channel available to 19 million homes with 90% coverage on what it calls "full Freeview." The multiplex Keep It Country currently broadcasts on only reaches around 75% of the UK.

The channel says it has recently added a "small number of shows from other genres" to encourage more viewers to country music as part of its overall growth plans.

The UK now has two country music channels. Keep It Country launched in 2016, followed by rival Total Country which went on air last year.

The changes to Keep It Country's Freeview coverage are a result of a multiplex switch. There have recently been a number of similar switches, forcing viewers to retune to keep watching channels such as True Entertainment and Film4+1. This latest change will also prompt a retune.

Spare capacity is currently available on the ITV owned SDN multiplex, although the capacity is only spare in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland and not Wales, which would mean the slot falls short of reaching 19 million viewers/90% coverage. Last year, Arqiva advertised a slot as being available one of its standard definition multiplexes.