Nov 252017

Sky channel number changes in May 2018

Sky has confirmed that it will be making changes to its channel list in May 2018.

The changes will make a tidier list for +1 channels and enforced HD channel swaps.

The changes come as a result of months of discussion with the various broadcasters and channels operators.

From May 2018,

– entertainment and documentary channels will reside together in the channel 101-199 range, bringing channels such as Sky One and Discovery closer together.

– +1 or timeshift versions of entertainment and documentary channels will move to a new home in the 200 channel range. The +1’s will receive a channel number mirroring the ordering of the primary channel, so that ITV+1 will appear on 203, Channel 4+1 on 204, Channel 5+1 on 205.

– If a primary channel changes its number in the 100 range, then the +1 will move in the 200 range as well.

– Exceptions to +1 channel number mirroring will apply if the 101-199 range fills up and there’s an overspill to another channel range.

– With documentary channels moving up with the entertainment channels, the news section will no longer be split after the number of news channels exceeded the originally allocated slots.

– Sport channels were reshuffled last summer, although Sky reserves the right to tidy up channel number allocations.

A HD swap for regionalised services will also happen. ITV is expected to be affected the most by this change, as it is likely to force ITV HD to occupy channel 103 in all regions where the HD simulcast mirrors the existing SD service on 103. For example, viewers in the Anglia East, Central West, Granada, London, Meridian SE, Tyne Tees, West Country (both ex-HTV West and Westcountry areas) and Yorkshire West regions are expected to see ITV HD move to 103 by May 2018. The only exceptions to the rule will be if the relevant HD version of the regionalised channel was “not an exact simulcast” on 9th August 2017 – an opt-out will apply. The situation is complicated by BBC1, ITV and Channel 4’s regional opt-outs, with programming such as local news and adverts currently only broadcast in SD. In regions where an HD opt-out is unavailable, the SD channels will retain their positions at 101, 103 and 104, while their HD versions will also remain unaffected.
In regions where HD opt-outs are broadcast the channels will be swapped. For example, in London Channel 4 HD will leap from slot 227 to 104, while its SD service will shift to 804.

A precise listing of all the new channel numbers (for each individual channel) will be made available to viewers closer to the time.

Channel operators will still be able to buy and swap channel numbers around to make the most of the changes.


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