ITV Be+1 closure and knock-on effects.

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  • Note: I was going to post this on individual platform discussion threads, but it's neater to post on a dedicated thread, even if short-lived, as it likely affects all platforms, even if there are slight differences as to how.


    The increase in ITV HD regions has had a knock-on effect on not just the number of SD and +1 regions, but now ITVBe+1 apparently. It's also closing on 13th April with some of the SD services.

    https://rxtvinfo.com/2021/itvbe-1-axed-on-satellite


    Though this just mentions Satellite, I can't see the point in keeping the LCN placeholder on Freeview, which just shows an hour a night in the wee hours, or keeping it going on Virgin Media, where they recently moved it to 162 in Scottish areas as a result of requiring PSB channels to be in at least Top 20 EPG positions and BBC Alba taking its slot. ITVBe+1 may as well be closed everywhere, Satellite was bound to be its biggest audience and that's the feed that's definitely closing.


    I'll post on the relevant changelogs when changes occur.

  • Initial ponderings.


    On Freeview 58 and 59 are ITV3+1 and ITV+4. The former has broadcast hours of use, the latter is a LCN placeholder. With recent Freeview EPG rule changes ITV could sell 57 or shuffle the other two up and sell another number. Maybe they'll axe the other placeholder and sell two LCNs.


    On Freesat the most obvious move is moving ITV4+1 from 154 up to 119, or since ITV4 is on 117, maybe move ITVBe to 119 and ITV4+1 to 118. They could sell 119 I suppose, but it would make more sense to sell 154, as 119 is better reused. I'm not sure on the selling rules on Freesat though, there may be hurdles.


    On Sky 231 will simply disappear, since the 200s are only filled with corresponding +1s.


    On Virgin Media, yes a +1 of 3 or 4 could move in, but it would be sharing depending on whether you are in Scotland or not. It may be better to just give up 120 and leave the 3&4 +1s where they are. If that happened I can see BBC Scotland moving from 162 outside of Scotland.

    • Staff Notice

    I don't think ITV will sell any of its Freeview slots, just in case it decides it may want to reuse a slot in the future.


    On VM, I would like to see the +1s of ITV 3 and 4 next to the other channels, but I guess that will only happen when iTV HD moved to 103 and perhaps the other SD ITV channels are axed or at least pushed out of the way.


    Personally, I would quite like to see the main ITV Be channel follow its +1 and evaporate into nothingness too. What a waste of airtime.

  • ITVBe shows what I consider to be worthless shite the likes of "the only way is Essex" and other such dimwit celebrating nonsense the only advantage of it having its own dedicated channels is to stop it being shown on the more mainstream channels, because its best kept out of harms way out of sight of normal intelligent people, shame they cant shove more of the shite on there like the 2 Geordie midgets and whatever crap they appear in.

  • I don't think ITV will sell any of its Freeview slots, just in case it decides it may want to reuse a slot in the future.


    On VM, I would like to see the +1s of ITV 3 and 4 next to the other channels, but I guess that will only happen when iTV HD moved to 103 and perhaps the other SD ITV channels are axed or at least pushed out of the way.


    Personally, I would quite like to see the main ITV Be channel follow its +1 and evaporate into nothingness too. What a waste of airtime.

    It's the channel numbers, not broadcast space they'd be monetising on Freeview. They probably wouldn't get much, numbers in the 50s aren't that attractive, so they'll probably keep them for IP Fallback full-time versions of their +1 channels. I'm just putting the possibilities out there.


    ITV HD is already on 103 on VM. 113 is only being used for neighbouring region overlap versions as I understand it.


    Though I agree with most sentiments regards ITVBe content, they seem to show Children's shows for the CBeebies/Tiny Pop demographic in the pre-lunch timeslots, which seems a lot more worthwhile.

    • Staff Notice

    ITV HD is already on 103 on VM.

    So it is! Shows you how much I watch the channel.

    ITVBe shows what I consider to be worthless shite the likes of "the only way is Essex" and other such dimwit celebrating nonsense the only advantage of it having its own dedicated channels is to stop it being shown on the more mainstream channels, because its best kept out of harms way out of sight of normal intelligent people, shame they cant shove more of the shite on there like the 2 Geordie midgets and whatever crap they appear in.

    And pretty much all the rest of ITV's "talent" too. ^^

  • VM normally get their SD channels from the Astra satellites and I can't see them bothering with a line fed signal, so I imagine it will close on VM too.


    I record stuff in SD to save on disc space at the moment, so I hope that the SD AD feed remains for ITV.

  • I was refamiliarising myself with the Freesat EPG Policy and the knock-on effects of the obvious move of ITV4+1 moving from 154 after ITVBe+1 closing leave a "massive" gap.


    151 DMAX+1 and 3 more Discovery channels above

    152 Empty

    153 Empty

    154 Presumably Soon To Be Empty

    155 PBS America

    156 Empty

    157 Dave and then 2 more UKTV channels below


    Freesat EPG Policy has a several options for vacant spaces.

    The main one is to offer the empty spaces to neighbouring broadcasters.

    The owner of the channel above gets 1st chance, then the owner of the channel below, then owner of the channel 2 above, then 2 below, and then it's available for anyone provided it seems logical to the consumer (my interpretation).

    Freesat also has a shuffleup policy to close gaps. If it decides to do it it will write to all the channels concerned amd ask if they want to, they don't have to.


    ITV obviously doesn't have any other channels to fill the gap so it's easy to rule them out.


    Clearly PBS America has chosen not to move up previously, or to launch their +1 on Freesat. I'd doubt they'd want jumped over, so they'd probably take any new opportunity to move the main channel, though they clearly don't think the cost of adding their +1 is worth it.


    Although the most obvious move is for everyone to move up, is there any point? Channels aren't scrambling for EPG places on either Satellite platform.


    Discovery has several channels lower down they'd probably like to promote (Really, HGTV, Quest HD, Quest Red) and UKTV have all their FTA+1s they could add to the platform.


    A possible outcome could be

    152 PBS America

    153 A Discovery-owned Channel

    154 A Discovery-owned Channel

    155 A UKTV Channel

    156 A UKTV Channel


    i.e. PBS America making sure it doesn't get jumped over and the other two broadcasters either side evenly split the difference.


    The current most prominent Discovery-owned channels are Food Network, FN+1, DMAX, DMAX+1. I've been surprised they haven't moved Quest HD and Really up into those +1 spaces at least, as those two are their highest rating FTA channels.


    If Discovery demoted their +1s and my possible outcome above was enacted, Discovery could have all their main channels in approximately the same part of the EPG rather than below UKTV and a few others as it is currently. It seems logical to me. UKTV could have (at least) 2 of their 3 FTA+1s in a close group too, so it wouldn't be too bad for them either. Assuming UKTV think the costs of +1s being on Freesat are worth it. Sure the BBC runs UKTV and is part of the organisation that operates the Freesat platform, but UKTV exists to make money, so they aren't a shoo-in to launch, they've held off this long.

  • The Freesat removal of ITVBe+1 has resulted in the small ITV reshuffle expected by many on that platform.


    ITVBe+1 has closed on 119

    ITVBe has moved from 118 to 119

    ITV4+1 has moved from 154 to 118

    Wonder if we'll now get another reshuffle, due to the emptied space and the resultant gap, as discussed in my previous post.

    • Staff Notice

    Although the most obvious move is for everyone to move up, is there any point? Channels aren't scrambling for EPG places on either Satellite platform.

    And that's the key point there. We're past the heyday of pay tv and although I'm not sure about Freesat, Sky will ultimately transition its tv customers onto its own streaming/cable tv services, so as channels close, there will be more spaces and thus prices will come down for what was once very valuable EPG slots.

    • Staff Notice

    And that's the key point there. We're past the heyday of pay tv and although I'm not sure about Freesat, Sky will ultimately transition its tv customers onto its own streaming/cable tv services, so as channels close, there will be more spaces and thus prices will come down for what was once very valuable EPG slots.

    Exactly. And both Freesat and Freeview will ultimately transition to streaming services rather than broadcast channels. However, all this is dependant on the completion of the broadband rollout, the date for which keeps being put back.


    I'm surprised that we don't have broadband delivered by satellite in the meantime as this is taking so long.

  • Exactly. And both Freesat and Freeview will ultimately transition to streaming services rather than broadcast channels. However, all this is dependant on the completion of the broadband rollout, the date for which keeps being put back.


    I'm surprised that we don't have broadband delivered by satellite in the meantime as this is taking so long.

    Most of the linear channels, that don't require regular live output, will have been replaced by On-Demand by the time the broadband is good enough in most areas. Linear broadcast is much cheaper and more efficient than streaming, so will be around for some time yet.


    The +1s disappearing trend is starting to gain momentum. I suspect most of the Pay TV +1s will be gone in 3 years. The FTA ones may last a little longer. The +1s for the main PSB channels (3/4/5) will be the final ones to disappear, maybe 5-6 years.


    Satellite broadband has been around for donkeys years. The historic problems have been, it hasn't been as fast as landline or mobile broadband, the upload speeds have been a much slower, and MUCH more expensive. As I understand it it's much better on all these fronts now.


    My opinion obviously.

    • Staff Notice

    Most of the linear channels, that don't require regular live output, will have been replaced by On-Demand by the time the broadband is good enough in most areas. Linear broadcast is much cheaper and more efficient than streaming, so will be around for some time yet.

    I’m not sure I buy that, although you are certainly not alone when you say this.


    If the standard means of presenting content becomes on demand, why would they then increase their costs by continuing to broadcast by conventional means as well?


    Additionally, look how much easier it is for broadcasters to simply upload content, rather than involve themselves with all that scheduling and the precision of timekeeping to make that work? There is also the increased cost of in filling. All that rubbish they insert between more popular programmes which, although cheap, still have to be paid for and represent an additional cost.


    Streaming is easier to manage and cheaper from a broadcaster’s point of view, enabling them to reduce their workforce, and as we all know, companies seek to maximise their profits in line with their duty to shareholders. Why, then, continue to broadcast conventionally when they can reduce these unnecessary costs and when other broadcasters can do the same?


    As for live TV for sports, etc, these would be streamed, of course. You don’t need to broadcast conventionally to deliver live action. Once they have addressed the latency and connection issues, most people will grow to accept this.

  • I didn't say they would broadcast as well, I said those broadcasters that didn't need live programming would go all on-demand, only those that needed live programming would have broadcast channels. The latter channels would be predominantly live programming, with a little pre-recorded to fill in gaps.


    Live content is more efficient to broadcast than streaming. Take Terrestrial, one transmission covers an entire area, whereas streaming you'd have need many (hundreds of) thousands of streams to serve the same number of people as one transmitter (depending of geography). Those streams would clog up the data network. Multicast technologies only help so much, though they are improving. All those streams cost money, broadcast is simpler and cheaper as there's only one site. It's a similar story with Satellite. Cable due to the way it works being so similar to streaming can basically just be replaced by it, the frequencies being replaced by individual streams and/or multicasts that you tune into depending on circumstances or size of audience.


    Steaming is getting much cheaper, but it's not for many things, at least not yet. Many costs are hidden from us the end user, there's losts of costs at a telecoms/networks level that we don't see.

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