Struggling to find something to watch on Freesat? That’s not surprising given the dwindling number of channels available to watch on the popular set-top box.
Days after Channel 4 confirmed plans to pull five of its music channels, including 4MUSIC, The Box, Kiss, and Kerrang, later this year, Narrative Entertainment has suddenly dropped nine channels from the platform.
The channels that have vanished overnight include GREAT! tv, which showcases classic series like Murder, She Wrote, M*A*S*H and The Avengers. Also gone are film channels GREAT! action, GREAT! movies, and GREAT! romance, alongside children’s channels POP, Tiny POP, and POP Max.
All channels were pulled without warning.
It leaves Freesat viewers with only three dedicated film channels (Film4, Film4+1, and Talking TV) and just two children’s channels (CBBC HD, CBeebies HD) to watch on the set-top boxes.
Freesat boxes connect to the satellite dish affixed to the outside of your home and bring HD-quality free-to-view channels, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and of course, GB News HD
EVERYONE TV PRESS OFFICE | FREESAT
Freesat is a free-to-watch service that connects to your existing satellite dish, which could be left over from a previous Sky TV contract. It’s owned and operated by Everyone TV — an organisation backed by BBC, ITV, and Channel 4, which also runs the more popular Freeview platform.
The full list of channels removed from Freesat in early February 2024 is as follows…
- GREAT! tv
- GREAT! tv+1
- GREAT! action
- GREAT! movies
- GREAT! romance
- GREAT! romance+1
- Tiny POP
- POP Max
It’s not just Freesat viewers who will be losing out.
Tiny POP, POP, and POP Max had already confirmed plans to move to online-only distribution. As part of this shake-up, all three channels will be removed from Sky TV, Freeview, and Virgin Media by March 20, 2024.
It will continue to be available on streaming platforms, like Sky Stream, Sky Glass, the newly revamped EE TV, TalkTalk TV, and Virgin Media Stream, to name just a few.
The blow for Freesat viewers is part of a wider industry trend away from traditional, linear broadcasts towards streaming and on-demand content.
Everyone TV has confirmed plans to launch an all-new platform, known as Freely, in the coming months that will offer free-to-view channels over your Wi-Fi connection.
In an early preview of Freely, the company confirmed that you’ll be able to rewind live television and restart shows when you tune in halfway through.
Catch-up services like BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4, and My5 will be built into Freely, which will be preinstalled on TVs from manufacturers Hisense and Vestel in the next few months.
Although you’ll be able to plug in an aerial to these TVs — a useful backup in case your broadband connection drops out — you’ll be able to access everything on Freeview and Freesat (and more) over Wi-Fi. That should offer more flexibility since you’ll be able to place your telly anywhere and not be limited by the length of your aerial cable.
Although you’ll likely be able to find all of the missing channels on Freely when it launches later this year, you won’t be able to get your hands on the all-new platform with a software update. Instead, Freely will only be available with new hardware, including the latest Smart TVs and set-top boxes.