UKTV to make Home free-to-air

Home LogoUKTV is moving its Home channel from pay to free TV, replacing Dave Ja Vu (the Dave +1 channel) on the UK digital terrestrial platform, which will move to a new, as yet unspecified, free TV slot.
The Scripps Networks Interactive and BBC Worldwide owned channels group said the homes and garden service will launch on free-to-air digital on March 1.
Home will join UKTV channels Dave, Dave Ja Vu, Drama, Really and Yesterday as free-TV offerings. Its pay TV line-up now comprises W, Alibi, Gold, Eden and Good Food.

Scripps, which is rumoured to want to take control of UKTV, has built a business in pay TV, though market watchers suggested today that UKTV is keen to look at further opportunities in free-to-air, marking a strategic shift.

The Home channel launched in 2009, replacing UKTV Style. As it moves from pay to free-TV, it will take shows including My Dream Derelict Home, Escape to the Country, A Place in the Sun: Home Or Away and Nick Knowles’ Original Features with it.

Emma Ayech, general manager, Home, said: “Moving Home in to free-to-air households gives a greater reach to our channel, offering more viewers the opportunity to watch our great roster of much-loved shows fronted by big name talent.”

There is currently no news on whether the channel will go free-to-air on satellite, or only on Freeview. A move to free-to-air satellite would allow the channel to join UKTV’s channels Drama, really and Yesterday which are already available on the Freesat platform.

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