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Whataday10,267 posts since 13 Sep 2001
Digifiend posted:
Last I heard, that'll be Plus renamed again.

Well that's wrong. Plus may close down when ITV Gold launches, but it will be a different channel, run by Carlton & Granada.
Whataday10,267 posts since 13 Sep 2001
Digifiend posted:
What, like TFI Friday? I thought that was really popular! And Don't Forget Your Toothbrush.

No, like Boys & Girls, Terry & Gaby, and Live With...
cwathen3,383 posts since 27 Dec 2001
Firstly, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Has it actually been confirmed that CBM is finished? At last report, it was launching 'sometime this summer'. Well now is sometime this sometime this summer, the barker screen may have been removed ahead of the channel's launch.

I agree that CBM doesn't sound very exciting, but it'll take more than a barker screen disappearing to make me believe that it's gone.

However, now that there are 2 million Freeviewers and rising, perhaps UKtv will put UK Gold on there - the ad revenue may pay for the channel by now, it would pull in more viewers to Freeview (even more ad revenue) and it's likely to become the most popular Freeview channel.

UK Gold in some form was rumoured even before the launch. However I'm not expecting the full UK Gold, moreso a UK Gold 2 type thing (basically a section of UK Gold timeshifted) to take the place of UK Bright Ideas (which I don't honestly believe UKTV saw as anything other than a placeholder channel to keep their second slot on Freeview - it might well appear on other platforms but Freeview is the only one where it serves any purpose, and a timeshare channel running on a 2 hour loop hardly seems like something they are investing mega bucks in).

I'd like the full UK Gold on there, but at the same time as it stands (unless CBM actually has been scrapped) there's not really anywhere for it to go apart from in UK History's slot - which I think is a very worthwhile channel.

There is the rights issue to deal with (UK Gold being a pay channel) but since most of it's programming is BBC material, and the BBC have a vested interest in seeing both UKTV and Freeview succeed, I can't see renegotiating the rights posing much of a problem. And since most (if not all?) of the no BBC stuff is years old anyway, I can't see much of a problem with rights owners there either.

Since UKTV would make more in ad revenue from having 2 million more viewers (who would be more likely to watch it) than they do from subscription revenue (which isn't that high - it's only on the premium channels that subscription revenue amounts to much), it would seem like a good route to take.

Aswell as that, there is the Sky One issue. Sky did say that it was their intention to replace one of their 3 channels with a version of Sky One within 18 months of Freeview's launch. The obvious channel to go is Sky Sports News, but since they want it to be a barker for Sky Sports and therefore Sky Digital, it does look like Sky Travel (which I must say, having never sat down and watched it until last week, isn't too bad at all) will be bowing out to make way for this channel.

The big question over it however, is just what does 'a version' mean? People who think they are going to sit down and watch brand new Star Trek and Simpsons for free are kidding themselves; you can bet your life that all new imported US programmes will not be there, not least because of the lucrative rights issues surrounds them. I don't see that older US programmes are out of the question; is Star Trek: The Next Generation, and season 3 Simpsons really so lucrative that they couldn't negotiate FTA clearance for them?

Without the big US shows though, Sky One, despite it's popularity, is actually pretty much a pile of crap; cheap daytime US fillers, and generally poor original productions (although they do have the occasional gem in there).

The only way I can see Sky One appearing is if all the lucrative new US shows were covered over by older episodes of that show, or if necessary, a different show (exactly what did happen with some programmes when ONdigital launched due to old rights deals which licenced programmes for satellite and cable distribution only, not allowing for pay DTT). But that then means you have a channel partly full of ****, and partly full of old (if good) US imports which are all readily available on existing terrestrial channels anyway (although admittedly not in the same volume). It may still be good to have, but it's missing one of the biggest reasons that people watch Sky One.

This is why I backed the original Freeview's (the Carlton and Granada one - the BBC/Sky/CC application was called 'FreeToView' until after they had won the multiplexes) application. They proposed a full free service called Freeview, which would have much the same channels as the Freeview we have has (without the BBC wasting most of a second multiplex as they are), and then there would be a 'Freeview Plus' addon which would involve a single multiplex of basic bread and butter non-premium subscription channels like Sky One and UK Gold. How this would be charged was never finalised, but I envisaged it being marketed in the shops as a product in it's own right, rather than a subscription, where you'd pay a fixed amount for a year.

That I believe would have worked. The underlying problem with Freeview (which has been brought home to me over the past week having been forced onto it) is that despite it's marketing, it isn't a worthy competitor alongside pay TV systems, there just aren't enough decent channels on it. Personally, I'd rather pay a few quid for pay TV and have something to watch, then bask in the glory of my free service which I am rarely content with.
London Lite10,873 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Anyway, according to the DTG website, Christians are trying to get "THE GOD CHANNEL" onto the last remaining Freeview space. *grr* these religious types... if GOD channel appears on Freeview I will be VERY cross.

Luckily, GOD have said they have no interest in going on Freeview. Aww. The poor Chrisitians. Rolling Eyes[/quote]

There must be a god if we don't have to endure that channel! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!! Very Happy
A former member
It's not like The GOD Channel would have many viewers anyway. No great loss.
cwathen3,383 posts since 27 Dec 2001
In response to cwathen, why would UKtv want to put a timeshifted UKGold on Freeview? Afterall, it carries exactly the same programmes as UKGold, albeit later? It's Digital Spy that have confirmed CBM is gone (Crown Castle have ended negotiations with CBM Media) and also CBM is now renamed Ch22 after a rescan.

Not UK Gold 2 itself, but that sort of thing. UK Gold 2 exists so you can see their daytime programmes in prime time, but on Freeview all they could have (unless they grab this extra slot whilst it exists) is the UK BrightIdeas slot. Since I think most people would agree that the prime time schedule is more important, on Freeview they'd need a timeshifted UK Gold that puts the prime time programming from the previous night (or even brings forward the current night's programming - so they could use some kind of 'Freeview gets it first' marketing) on during the day.

Or they could go one better and construct a channel which compresses all/most of UK Gold's programmes into a 12 hour channel (there are a lot of daily repeats which could be shed remember).

Either way, I believe they would need a special version for Freeview, If they just carried straight UK Gold from 6AM-6PM, a lot of things wouldn't get shown.
A former member
Cwathen, you've forgotten the watershed! Some shows cannot be brought forward due to violence or swearing, both of which are banned before 9pm.
Mich632 posts since 24 Mar 2001
Matt posted:

I know it's unlikely, but lets hope Sky and BBC/Flextech follow suit and put one of their more popular channels on the platform in place of Sky Travel and UK History.

There was rumour of Sky Travel becoming Sky One or Sky One Mix some time in the future - yeah right - like thats gonna happen!

Oh well... we can dream...

Actually, that was just a rumour on the DS Forums. The confusion came about when a Sky released details of Sky One Mix, but also mentioned "Channel 6". Their vague idea for Channel 6 was to become a mainstream general entertainment channel, and it would probably replace Sky Travel on freeview.

Flextech have made some very strange decisions cocerning freeview, launching UK History, and UK BI and ftn.
Personally, I think it would make more sense to run UKTV+ on one channel, showcasing the best of the UKTV network (Style in the morning, Horizons in the afternoon with Gold and Drama in the evening), both new and repeated programmes. Another ftn, which does what ftn does now but with other repeated programmes from other flextech channels. Both being 24/7.
cwathen3,383 posts since 27 Dec 2001
Cwathen, you've forgotten the watershed! Some shows cannot be brought forward due to violence or swearing, both of which are banned before 9pm.

Damn, the watershed. Oh well. It needent affect things too much though - watershed friendly edits of the programmes could be made quite simply, I can't think of anything on UK Gold which really can't be shown at all before the watershed.
cwathen3,383 posts since 27 Dec 2001
Flextech have made some very strange decisions cocerning freeview, launching UK History, and UK BI and ftn.

Flextech's channels and UKTV are a bit different though - on UKTV matters it isn't Flextech's decision alone.

Perhaps it would have been better to have a UKTV channel in UK History's space, and FTN as a 24 hour channel (although it would have to have better programming - that said the quality of it is slowly increasing).

I think at the end of the day, shere number of channels was more important to them, so they went for UK History and UKBI and FTN because it's 3 channels instead of 2.
Cheese Head1,290 posts since 8 Mar 2003
chrisb posted:
Well Sky Travel is becoming increasingly like a general entertainment channel anyway, with programmes such as "Is Harry on the Boat" and so on.

I quite like sky travel actually. Is Sky Travel different on DTT then is on cable/satellite ?

I think having a new channel would be good for freeview better than shoving an exsisting one on there. CBM seemed a bit "local" and cheap and a genre noone likes. I think a general entertainment channel aimed at all audiences (with movies) would be good.

Another Idea would be to have flextech merge with the discovery channel and replacing uk history with ukdiscovery.

EDIT oooo.... this was my 1000 th post. aw, c'mon, they wernt all that pointless now where they?
Pete9,045 posts since 18 Jun 2001
Well I like UK History.

I hope UK Gold comes instead. CBM looked a load of junk anyways - what a bad logo it had.

Of course BBC News Interactive would be nice aswell. I thought we were getting that soon aswell?