Following an industry-wide consultation, the Freeview TV guide is set to be updated and expanded on Wednesday, 2 August 2017.
This change is designed to increase capacity for the launch of new channels in the future and strengthen consumer protection measures to further minimise risks around minors viewing inappropriate content. Some existing channels will move to new numbers. Digital UK’s policy for allocating channel numbers is also being simplified to provide greater flexibility for channel providers.

Freeview viewers may need to retune on or after this date to ensure they have the latest channel line-up, where equipment does not do this automatically.

Entertainment and shopping channels will be given more space to expand, with the channel range extending from channel 1-99 and 140-199. Should the current entertainment section need expanding before August, channels will spill over into the children’s section with a number allocated in the high 90s.

The main changes are:

  • Children’s channels, currently reserved slots between channels 120-129 and 95-99 will move to a new joint range from 200-229.
  • News channels, currently allocated channel numbers between 130-149 will move up to 230-249.
  • Text services, currently broadcast from channel 200, move to channel 250-259.
  • Streamed channels, currently reserved slots between 225 and 299 will be shuffled up and start on channel 260.
  • Services for BT, TalkTalk, Plusnet TV and EE TV users in the 300-599 range remain unchanged.
  • Channels 670-699 will be reserved for adult services, with additional markers at the top end to increase the number of clicks a BBC Radio 1 listeners would need to jump from channel 700 to a live adult channel.

For future developments, channels 610 to 669 will be reserved for standard definition TV simulcasts, should in the future HD channels be given more prominent channel numbers.
In the meantime, HD channels will continue to be broadcast on their existing channel numbers, with Freeview continuing to offer all main five channels in HD from channel 101 to 105 – the only digital TV provider to offer this.

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By Expat