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Mar 08 2012

Channel 4's 4seven coming to FreesatFollowing on from our previous post about Channel 4’s new “project shuffle” channel, we can now confirm the new channel, now called 4seven, will be available on Freesat, when it launches later this year.

Announced today, it is the first new channel for Channel 4 since 2005. It will give viewers another chance to catch up with the most popular and talked about Channel 4 content from the last 7 days.

The official press release by David Abraham, Channel 4 Chief Executive, says:

Speaking today at the FT Digital Media Conference David Abraham, Channel 4 Chief Executive, announced the launch of 4seven; the first new channel for the broadcaster since 2005.

Launching across all major TV platforms later this year, the channel will give viewers another chance to catch up with the most popular and talked about Channel 4 content from the last 7 days with the ease of a remote control rather than going online.

Making the announcement David Abraham commented:

“With so much choice out there, viewers are increasingly saying they sometimes just miss the best stuff, despite their PVR and VOD. 4seven will give viewers more chances to catch the most popular and talked about Channel 4 shows from the last seven days.

It will schedule the main channel content that is creating noise – amongst social media, bloggers, commentators and of course via contact our viewers have directly with us – and incorporate this buzz into the look and feel of the channel.

Scheduled in close harmony with all our other channels, 4seven will be a powerful way of maximising the audience for the many hours of new Channel 4 programming we launch every week, as well as an opportunity to direct viewers back to Channel 4 to watch more.

The launch of 4seven also supports our strategy of embracing the opportunities of connectivity, by exploring ways to deepen engagement with our viewers and expand the choices we can offer them.”

Link to press release: http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/david-abraham-announces-the-launch-of-4seven

42 Responses to “Channel 4’s 4seven coming to Freesat”

  1. Jon Says:

    Good news we have not been left out as first thought. Will be a handy channel for those who don’t have access to on demand services. I wonder if it will be in HD?

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  2. Peter Robinson Says:

    So C4 are launched another channel of repeats? Broadcasters complains about lack of available bandwidth and then all they do is show the same programmes time and time again. We need more NEW content from NEW broadcasters, not the same stuff repeated again and again.

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  3. steve 1 Says:

    Hi admin is this a proper channel or do we need broadband like the I player?

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  4. Shane Says:

    steve 1 said: Hi admin is this a proper channel or do we need broadband like the I player?

    Looks like a new channel reading the press release:

    “Speaking today at the FT Digital Media Conference David Abraham, Channel 4 Chief Executive, announced the launch of 4seven; the first new channel for the broadcaster since 2005″

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  5. admin Says:

    steve 1 said: Hi admin is this a proper channel or do we need broadband like the I player?

    Not entirely sure yet, gives the impression of it being available via the EPG with data down the dish, but access to programmes via your broadband connection is what they suggest, though think it is just a normal channel.

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  6. Keith Cobby Says:

    Will this be followed by 4seven+1, 4seven+2, 4seven HD etc etc!

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  7. Neil Says:

    An interesting choice of name, better than More4+2! To avoid confusion, this will be a linear channel broadcast ‘over air’ and not via broadband.

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  8. ian Says:

    Its not an IPTV channel like BoxOffice365, its the same as Channel4+1, you tune into it and there it is, no internet connection needed.
    What channel number will 4seven use though?
    And yes, will it be in HD of plans for HD?

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  9. digitwatcher Says:

    Great news for Freesat that any addition helps strenthen it’s appeal. One thought though, with the current mix up of channels in the epg, would it not now been the time for a complete tidy up?

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  10. A Partridge Says:

    We need C4 to spend more on original / better programming – not another channel. Most people have a PVR now anyway….waste of funds.

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  11. Lee S Says:

    So…. 4OD coming to Freesat G2 then?? this channel wont really matter then ;)

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  12. steve 1 Says:

    Admin why was my question changed when people replied to it?

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  13. Soldierboy 001 Says:

    steve 1 said: Admin why was my question changed when people replied to it?

    If you read the text you would understand it is not broadband but another channel. Please read before you tweet.

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  14. admin Says:

    steve 1 said:
    Admin why was my question changed when people replied to it?

    I have no idea sorry, very strange. I’ll correct it.

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  15. Neil Says:

    ian said:
    Its not an IPTV channel like BoxOffice365, its the same as Channel4+1, you tune into it and there it is, no internet connection needed.
    What channel number will 4seven use though?
    And yes, will it be in HD of plans for HD?

    No HD plans as far as I’m aware. I’d guess it will use LCN 127 as that’s currently at the end of the C4 channel sub-section and not used/reserved.

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  16. Tristan Says:

    This is good news. Admittedly a new channel with new content would be preferred, however I think the addition of 4seven can only be good for freesat. @t_man_uk

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  17. roger mellie Says:

    Yeah, if nothing else it adds more choice for the viewer,and another Freesat channel although i would like to see maybe a classic ch4 output tho, old Brookside, Dispatches etc

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  18. Neil Says:

    C4-7 would come in handy today as I had a failed recording on C4 earlier on this week and the programme isn’t repeated (as some are overnight). It’s not usual that this happens on C4, probably only the second time, so for things like this and other PVR recording conflicts I can see the channel being valuable.

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  19. Neil Says:

    Interesting news that BSkyB have reduced EPG inclusion fees for all broadcasters, sounds to me like a political move to soften the blow in a forthcoming Ofcom sting around the ‘fit and proper’ test.

    Either way this could be good as it may give other broadcasters (up to 100 are expected to benefit) a bit of free cash to consider platform inclusion on Freesat. I also hope as a result of this the BBC decide to reverse any decision to remove regional variants of BBC1 from the platform.

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  20. McGuffin Says:

    Admin: Any new stations are good news for Freesat. One question that niggles, though. BBC part owns Freesat and BBC part owns UK TV including Dave etc. ITV got stick when 2,3,4, HD channels went to Sky. Is there a timetable for UK TV to come to Freesat? If not why not?

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  21. Neil Says:

    McGuffin said:
    Admin: Any new stations are good news for Freesat. One question that niggles, though. BBC part owns Freesat and BBC part owns UK TV including Dave etc. ITV got stick when 2,3,4, HD channels went to Sky. Is there a timetable for UK TV to come to Freesat? If not why not?

    That’s the million dollar question. It’s assumed that UKTV are in contract with Sky, potentially in a deal which could have been agreed before or at the time Freesat launched and before some of their current services went on to Freeview. It is most probably the case that UKTV didn’t see enough value in Freesat’s limited user base back in 2008/9 if potentially any contract renewals took place then. I’d say now that with 1N in place for spotbeam capacity coupled with Freesat’s healthy and growing 2m+ sales there’s more chance than ever we will see Dave, Yesterday and Really on the platform but if and when is anyone’s guess!

    The more unit sales Freesat gets the stronger the chances they will join as advertising revenue has to stack up against subscription kick-back. As UKTV have about ten services and timeshifts that’s a total of 20 EPG assignments which with the reduction in Sky EPG contribution fees announced yesterday might save them some dosh. They could use this to fund Freesat EPG placement for their FTA Freeview services but who knows??

    C4 have recently made low level noise about 4Music one day appearing on Freesat too but won’t commit to a date, again all down to Sky contracts.

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  22. admin Says:

    Neil said: That’s the million dollar question. It’s assumed that UKTV are in contract with Sky, potentially in a deal which could have been agreed before or at the time Freesat launched and before some of their current services went on to Freeview. It is most probably the case that UKTV didn’t see enough value in Freesat’s limited user base back in 2008/9 if potentially any contract renewals took place then. I’d say now that with 1N in place for spotbeam capacity coupled with Freesat’s healthy and growing 2m+ sales there’s more chance than ever we will see Dave, Yesterday and Really on the platform but if and when is anyone’s guess!
    The more unit sales Freesat gets the stronger the chances they will join as advertising revenue has to stack up against subscription kick-back. As UKTV have about ten services and timeshifts that’s a total of 20 EPG assignments which with the reduction in Sky EPG contribution fees announced yesterday might save them some dosh. They could use this to fund Freesat EPG placement for their FTA Freeview services but who knows??
    C4 have recently made low level noise about 4Music one day appearing on Freesat too but won’t commit to a date, again all down to Sky contracts.

    Could not have said it better myself; that is EXACTLY the situation.

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  23. steve 1 Says:

    Its the donkey chasing after the carrot if uktv is waiting for more viewers why don’t they come on board so the figures will increase anyway its a no brainer really

    admin said: Could not have said it better myself; that is EXACTLY the situation.

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  24. Al (Original) Says:

    steve 1 said:
    Its the donkey chasing after the carrot if uktv is waiting for more viewers why don’t they come on board so the figures will increase anyway its a no brainer really

    Exactly. Freesat is already gaining pace and the more major broadcasters join, the faster that pace will become.

    Broadcasters have it in their own hands to make the platform even more popular and more attractive to advertisers.

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  25. Richard Crichton Says:

    Neil said:
    Interesting news that BSkyB have reduced EPG inclusion fees for all broadcasters, sounds to me like a political move to soften the blow in a forthcoming Ofcom sting around the ‘fit and proper’ test.
    Either way this could be good as it may give other broadcasters (up to 100 are expected to benefit) a bit of free cash to consider platform inclusion on Freesat. I also hope as a result of this the BBC decide to reverse any decision to remove regional variants of BBC1 from the platform.

    Sky should be paying the BBC around £200million a year to be on their (Sky) platform since the BBC is the most watched.

    admin, any idea when the latest sales figures are due as we seem to have been on 2M for years now.

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  26. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said: Sky should be paying the BBC around £200million a year to be on their (Sky) platform since the BBC is the most watched.
    admin, any idea when the latest sales figures are due as we seem to have been on 2M for years now.

    I couldn’t agree more, can’t help but think the announcement for the reduction in EPG fees also seems to have convenient timing, typical of Sky. I think we’ve not seen the end of this and we could get to a situation whereby PSB broadcasters are given free or extremely cheap EPG placement for their main 101-105 PSB services on Sky, all depends on what happens when Ofcom crack their whip!

    ITV are also to save a fair few million per year too. Perhaps someone can suggest to them that with that saving they can invest in half of their own platform (Freesat) and get ITV’s 2-4 in HD once the Sky deal runs out!

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  27. Rosco Says:

    steve 1 said:
    Its the donkey chasing after the carrot if uktv is waiting for more viewers why don’t they come on board so the figures will increase anyway its a no brainer really

    Subscription channels on Sky get a small payment per viewer from the subscription revenue. Therefore they have to balance the loss of revenue from this stream against the additional value that the extra viewing numbers they would get from being on Freesat. For most channels the numbers simply wont add up.

    Look at it like this (no idea what the actual numbers are – but it demonstrates the idea) Assume Channel XYZ gets 1p per month per subscription household and that there are 10million subs in use, thats £100,000 per month in the bank just for being a pay channel. Therefore to make it worthwhile launching on Freesat the extra viewing figures from being fta have to bring in at least £100k *more* in advertising revenue every month just to make it financially worthwhile.

    In the middle of the current financial climate its simply not going to work for most channels.

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  28. martin Says:

    never thought of that before so how dose cbs get any revenue i dip in now and then but most of the advertising i see comes from channel five and 4 and itv

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  29. McGuffin Says:

    Thanks all. I think the UKTV/Freesat question is something that the BBC should be answering. I just wanted to raise the point and also move it away from the subscription channel auto response to questions about DAVE. ITV’s decision to place ITV 2,3,4 HD channels exclusively on SKY raised a few eyebrows on this forum when it happened. Mostly centred around a lack of commitment to the Freesat platform. It could be argued that the failure to include UKTV on the platform raises the same question about the BBC. The contract issue is a valid one, but is all about timing. If UKTV signed a new contract prior to the launch of Freesat that could also be indicative of a lack of commitment, or a lack of foresight, or that the UKTV decision is out of the hands of the BBC. Which is it? Can you imagine the impact it would have if UKTV was to commit to Freesat. It would revolutionise the platform. What impact would that have on the BBC (and ITV) investment? Maybe ITV and BBC should put their heads together and think this through.

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  30. Richard Crichton Says:

    Neil said:
    Interesting news that BSkyB have reduced EPG inclusion fees for all broadcasters, sounds to me like a political move to soften the blow in a forthcoming Ofcom sting around the ‘fit and proper’ test.
    Either way this could be good as it may give other broadcasters (up to 100 are expected to benefit) a bit of free cash to consider platform inclusion on Freesat. I also hope as a result of this the BBC decide to reverse any decision to remove regional variants of BBC1 from the platform.

    It could be bad news for Freesat who depend on EPG charges to exist. I would think that Freesat will have to reduce their charges as well or appear overpriced. This could be a cynical plot by Sly to cripple Freesat as well as placate Ofcom. Two birds with one stone.

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  31. Richard Crichton Says:

    There is very little on UKTV worth watching imho. It’s just a load of very old and tired stuff. As I keep saying we need more quality not more quantity.You can’t keep on spreading the butter thinner and thinner. It’s pointless and self defeating. I would be perfectly happy with ten channels if the programs were high quality. As it is I only regularly watch about 7 of the 143 (ish) channels on Freesat and rarely go past the first screen (1-8) of the EPG.
    BBC1/2/News 95%, More 4 2% ,4 1%, 5 1% CBS Action 1%.

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  32. Neil Says:

    McGuffin said:
    Thanks all. I think the UKTV/Freesat question is something that the BBC should be answering. I just wanted to raise the point and also move it away from the subscription channel auto response to questions about DAVE. ITV’s decision to place ITV 2,3,4 HD channels exclusively on SKY raised a few eyebrows on this forum when it happened. Mostly centred around a lack of commitment to the Freesat platform. It could be argued that the failure to include UKTV on the platform raises the same question about the BBC. The contract issue is a valid one, but is all about timing. If UKTV signed a new contract prior to the launch of Freesat that could also be indicative of a lack of commitment, or a lack of foresight, or that the UKTV decision is out of the hands of the BBC. Which is it? Can you imagine the impact it would have if UKTV was to commit to Freesat. It would revolutionise the platform. What impact would that have on the BBC (and ITV) investment? Maybe ITV and BBC should put their heads together and think this through.

    The BBC now control 60% of UKTV I believe, or have asked to buy another 10%. Previously they had a 50/50 stake with Virgin who were probably not keen on putting more services FTA on Satellite as it could impact their core CATV platform. Now they have sold out to Scripps who do have FTA satellite interests it casts new thoughts over things. Email UKTV and ask them, the more who do at least they get an awareness of demand.

    Richard Crichton said: It could be bad news for Freesat who depend on EPG charges to exist. I would think that Freesat will have to reduce their charges as well or appear overpriced. This could be a cynical plot by Sly to cripple Freesat as well as placate Ofcom. Two birds with one stone.

    That’s quite an interesting thought there Richard and one I’d not thought about although I think it’s a combination of a few things. I quietly think Sky don’t want the BBC to remove regional content from their platform either and have come under increasing pressure to act following all this going public (especially the BBC’s £10m paid). Does anyone know the ‘list’ EPG and contribution fees to Sky for a standalone channel? I was under the impression around £90k, if this is reduced to lets say (and guessing) £70k then Freesat’s £36k is still cheaper overall although on a head per head basis maybe not?

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  33. oyodi Says:

    Let’s hope it will be in HD. I only watch about 2-3 hours of TV a day, and I must admit I only watch and record programs in HD.

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  34. Big Adam Says:

    Richard Crichton said: There is very little on UKTV worth watching imho. It’s just a load of very old and tired stuff. As I keep saying we need more quality not more quantity.You can’t keep on spreading the butter thinner and thinner. It’s pointless and self defeating. I would be perfectly happy with ten channels if the programs were high quality. As it is I only regularly watch about 7 of the 143 (ish) channels on Freesat and rarely go past the first screen (1-8) of the EPG.BBC1/2/News 95%, More 4 2% ,4 1%, 5 1% CBS Action 1%.

    In my household the split is CBeebies 97%, Whatever channel I can find with something watchable while I do the ironing 3%.

    Whilst I normally welcome any new channels, this 4seven is just another added to my long list of “ironing” channels. One I flick to and through while looking for something to while away an hour or so.

    C4, C4+1, 4HD, More4, More4+1, 4seven, 4OD(?)……….how many more channels do we need with wall-to-wall Kirstie Allsopp?

    Can’t really see this being the deal-maker for anyone contemplating a platform change.

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  35. Neil Says:

    For those HD fans and not in the Granada region it appears ITV1HD London has gone up to 1920x1080i, proper HD resolution up to now only enjoyed by us northerners!!

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  36. Richard Crichton Says:

    Neil said:
    For those HD fans and not in the Granada region it appears ITV1HD London has gone up to 1920x1080i, proper HD resolution up to now only enjoyed by us northerners!!

    Northerners and this Manhattan Plaza owner. A pity the BBC dosen’t do the same. I wonder if they will increase the resolution for the Olympics like they did for the Royal Wedding. They must know they are giving us second rate HD.

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  37. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said: Northerners and this Manhattan Plaza owner. A pity the BBC dosen’t do the same. I wonder if they will increase the resolution for the Olympics like they did for the Royal Wedding. They must know they are giving us second rate HD.

    The BBC are now the only broadcaster using 1440x1080i (apart from the sole ITV Meridian region). It doesn’t bode well for the UK’s main PSB broadcaster, and once bastions of quality, to be delivering the lowest HD quality! Imagine the Daily Mail headlines associated with that!!

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  38. Muzer Says:

    Neil said: The BBC are now the only broadcaster using 1440x1080i (apart from the sole ITV Meridian region). It doesn’t bode well for the UK’s main PSB broadcaster, and once bastions of quality, to be delivering the lowest HD quality! Imagine the Daily Mail headlines associated with that!!

    As it turns out, this was part of the deal for them getting iPlayer on Anytime+.

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  39. Richard Crichton Says:

    Muzer said: As it turns out, this was part of the deal for them getting iPlayer on Anytime+.

    Excuse my ignorance but whats Anytime+ and why would our national broadcaster want to degrade their entire HD output to be on it. This stinks.

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  40. ian Says:

    Have a feeling that Muzer quoted the wrong post..
    Muzer is talking about the reduction in retransmission fee’s the BBC pay to BskyB, it was reduced, but it has transpired that BskyB made the deal with the BBC in return for the BBC iPlayer content becoming available on Sky Anytime+, which is Sky’s version of iPlater basically, but to subscribers of Sky services only.

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  41. Mike Dimmick Says:

    Sky’s EPG listing and Platform Contribution Charges can be found in their price list, available at http://corporate.sky.com/about_sky/policies_and_regulator_%20information – click Regulatory Information.

    The price reductions applied to *all* channels, including subscription channels. Supplying catch-up content to Sky Anytime+ attracts an additional 30% discount for PSBs (any PSBs, not just the BBC).

    The Platform Contribution Charge – which is used to subsidise free boxes for new Sky subscribers – is proportional to the viewing share as calculated by BARB. PSBs do get a big discount compared to commercial channels, but BBC One is by far the most viewed channel, so Sky will still charge the BBC over £3.1m for BBC One alone (see Annex 1). There are also regionalization charges on top of that.

    Actual PSB channels – ITV1, C4, C5, S4C – get the discount, but their portfolio channels don’t: the charge for E4 is nearly as big as for Channel 4 itself, and ITV2/3/4 add up to about the same as ITV1.

    Subscription revenue is likely to be cancelled out by the Platform Contribution and other EPG listing charges, for most channels.

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  42. Naia Says:

    Admin,
    How does Channel 4 calculate the social media buzz in order to make Channel 4seven programming selection?

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