Channel 4 have today announced they plan to launch a new television channel around June, allowing viewers the opportunity to catch repeats of its best shows; effectively offering a television version to complement their existing 4OD (on demand) facility.
The new channel, referred to internally as Project Shuffle, will allow viewers who missed the first live broadcast of Channel 4′s most popular shows multiple opportunities to catch up with them over the next seven nights.
Channel 4 have tried to distance themselves from rumours they are launching a UKTV style channel (Dave, Gold etc), insisting that the channel will offer repeats of their best (recent) shows, and not those from years gone by, thought we suspect there will be a mix of both.
It is believed according to industry sources that Channel 4 have struck a deal with Freeview; plus a carriage deal (meaning encrypted) with BSkyB. Discussions with Virgin Media are said to be more difficult with concerns Virgin Media fear this might provide direct competition to its own catch-up TV offering.
So what does this mean for Freesat? Well, it appears at this stage that the new channel won’t launch on our platform, but we expect with Freesat G2 around the corner, it might be a similar situation to Virgin Media whereby inclusion could create direct competition to what Freesat hope to be offering (no official news can be released on this yet sorry).
We will update this post when we have further news.