Your Freeview TV will lose 5 channels this year – big change confirmed

Millions of homes across the UK are about to lose access to five channels they currently enjoy for free. Channel 4 has confirmed the closure which will affect all Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media customers. The channels being switched off are all those under the Box umbrella. That includes 4Music, The Box, Kerrang TV, Kiss TV and Magic YV.

It’s currently unclear exactly when homes will lose access but Channel 4 has said that it will be over the next 12 months.

Confirming the news, the platform said it is “proposing to close small linear channels that no longer deliver revenues or public value at scale, including the Box channels in 2024 and others at the right time.”

So why shut things down?

Channel 4 is now focusing more on its online streaming services and it seems these music channels are a casualty of the changeover.

There has also been a steady decline in the number of dedicated music platforms as consumers move away from watching this type of content on terrestrial stations.

Channel 4 says that to stay competitive and invest in digital priorities, it must reduce its operational costs, particularly out of legacy activities.

The news of the closure was announced along with a new plan for the future which includes an ambitious five-year strategy to reshape itself and accelerate its transformation into a digital-first public service streamer by 2030.

The strategy – called Fast Forward – has been created to help ensure Channel 4 embraces the generational shift that is taking place in TV viewing.

Speaking about the news, Alex Mahon, CEO, said: “Channel 4 was designed to be ahead of the curve and has never stood still. The rate of change in our market is only speeding up. Our new strategy will accelerate our digital transformation – building on 2020’s Future4 strategy and our founding public service principles – so Channel 4 remains a trusted, disruptive and distinctive brand into the 2030s, offering brilliant shows that people love and that matter.”

News of the shift towards streaming comes as the team behind Freeview is about to launch a new platform called Freely.

This will allow homes to watch live and on-demand telly using their broadband rather than an aerial. Freely will arrive this year so watch this space if that sounds enticing.


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