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Freeview merry-go-round as channels move

New year, new carriage contracts: a number of Freeview channels are on the move this week.

Teleshopping channel Sewing Quarter is advising its viewers to retune from 1pm Monday 7th January 2019, as its service is moving to new capacity. At the same time, its new red button service will go live, which will mean that those with compatible connected Freeview devices will be able to stream the channel during the hours it doesn't broadcast terrestrially.

Sewing Quarter has been temporarily broadcast alongside Channel 4’s Freeview signal, giving it universal coverage from all Freeview channels. Full technical details if the channels haven't yet been made public.

Sony Crime Channel meanwhile, is advising viewers that on Tuesday 8th January 2019, it will be reducing Freeview coverage. The service, broadcast on channel 40, will only be viewable in areas where local TV channels, such as London Live, Notts TV and NVTV are broadcast, as the channel moves to piggyback on the local TV signal. Sister channel TruTV did this last year with next to no notice, annoying many viewers who had suddenly lost access to the channel.

More4+1, currently broadcast in some parts of the UK via Freeview, is messaging viewers on-screen of a change to its service on Thursday 10th January 2019, which will force viewers to retune to continue watching. It hasn't confirmed if it's moving to the capacity alongside Channel 4 that is being cleared by Sewing Quarter.

The merry-go-round of changes are a result of new carriage contracts with multiplex operators, requiring adjustments to how the channels are broadcast in Freeview and whose capacity they will be using to make their services available on digital terrestrial television. The changes affect Freeview viewers alongside users of platforms that piggyback on terrestrial signals, including YouView (BT, TalkTalk and Plusnet TV), EE TV and Now TV Smart Box users.

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