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Larry the Loafer5,792 posts since 2 Jul 2005
Granada North West Today
Feel free to move this to Requests if this isn't worthy of being in the main forum, but I'm writing a blog and am touching upon the state of Freeview over the years. I wanted to briefly explain why the landscape of channels is so lacking compared to satellite and cable, but I don't want to get my facts mistaken for assumptions, so I felt the need to ask.

What is really stopping broadcasters from transmitting their channels on Freeview?

I understand the spectrum is tighter on Freeview and limits the number of channels, but more and more seem to pop up and there's even a BT Sport HD channel on there now. If I'm not mistaken, broadcasters have to pay the likes of Sky and Virgin to carry their channels, so are they making money back from getting a cut of subscription money? And advertisers would be rubbing their hands if they could sell on a channel that was available to almost everybody. I've also heard that existing contracts with the likes of Sky prohibit them from broadcasting on other platforms (such as why Dave isn't on Freesat).

It might sound like I'm rambling, but the point I'm making is I understand there are factors to consider in order to answer my own question. i just don't know if broadcasters actually *want* to transmit on Freeview but can't, or they actually benefit more from transmitting on pay services.
DVB Cornwall9,405 posts since 4 Dec 2003
Westcountry Spotlight
Freeview is a mess Ofcom are to blame Depending where you are you can be expected to receive anything from 3-10 multiplexes. Their licencing arrangements revolve around a core network of 3 Muxes. Add to that the 3 Com muxes from 80 sites then add 2 more muxes at 30 sites, finally add Manchester and NI local muxes and then the local TV tier on top. A mess. If Ofcom licenced sites for more it's more or less inevitable that Providers would transmit.

We've yet to see in detail Ofcom's plans to deal with the removal of some capacity once 700mHz is cleared for Mobile.
Markymark8,229 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today

We've yet to see in detail Ofcom's plans to deal with the removal of some capacity once 700mHz is cleared for Mobile.

I've seen the draft UK plan (only the North of Scotland is in the public domain, and you have to reverse engineer
the changes by sticking post codes into the Freeview checker)

All three, six, or eight muxes (as appropriate) are reallocated at every present site. There are a few extra sites (some greenfield) to carry COM 4,5, and 6 to areas that will lose reliable reception of those muxes, owing to increased co-channel interference ( inevitable really, as there is a net decrease in available spectrum). The present
500 MHz Band (aka UHF Ch 31-37) that is only used at present for COM 7 and 8 will be used extensively for PSB and COM 4/5/6. Plus Ch 36 is being added for the first time. COM 7 and 8 will be moving to a national SFN
at Ch 55 and 56, until at least 2020, and probably until the end of 2022. (55/56 constitute a guard band in the new use of the 700 MHz band, so the gap is being utilised until 2022).

Oh, and all the local stuff also has new homes, scattered between 21 and 48

The only chance of more capacity , is when the existing T1 muxes are converted to T2. It'll be years before PSB 1 and 2 are I suspect.
Last edited by Markymark on 19 June 2017 7:52pm
Rex (previously MetalGearRex) 1,545 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
Freeview is not a cheap platform to operate on. Because capacity is far more finite compared to the likes of Sky and Virgin Media, the cost of acquiring a slot is anything but cheap.

Back in 2005, where new capacity was created, slots would go as much as £10million. ITV and Channel 4 won said slots, and used them initially for Men and Motors and More4+1.

Ofcom restrictions count as well. When Freeview launched in 2002, Sky were only allowed to have 3 slots, in order to prevent a monopoly on the platform. Archaic now that COM5 has 16 slots. Even if Sky launched another channel on Freeview or a +1 for Pick/Challenge, they're only taking a small amount of capacity on the multiplex.