GB News has confirmed its Freeview channel number, and it’s not a surprise. But it does provide a clue about its launch date.
The news channel has confirmed it will appear on Freeview channel 236. That’s the next available channel number in the news section of Freeview channel list – channels 231-235 are already taken.
But viewers shouldn’t retune Freeview for GB News just yet – although the channel number is allocated, the channel is yet to launch.
However, the allocation of a Freeview channel number provides a clue as to when it is launching. GB News chairman Andrew Neil originally tweeted that GB News would go live in March. But in recent weeks, the channel has said it intends to launch “later this year”, without being any more specific.
Once a Freeview channel number is officially assigned, it means it’s expected to appear on Freeview TVs in the next three months.
In guidance issued to broadcasters joining Freeview, they are told to apply for a Freeview channel number “between four and eight weeks” before launch, providing Freeview full details of its launch date.
If the channel fails to launch within a reasonable period after the date given to Freeview, it loses the channel slot. Any channel newly joining Freeview has to broadcast at least six hours of programmes a day to retain their channel number. Existing channels are exempt from that rule.
In addition to broadcasting on Freeview, GB News will be broadcast on Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media. In order to qualify for a slot on Sky, it will need to have concluded a test transmission period prior to launch. Tests have not yet begun and a channel number hasn’t yet been confirmed.
Freeview News section
231 – BBC News
232 – BBC Parliament
233 – Sky News
234 – RT
235 – Al Jazeera English
236 – Allocated to GB News. Not yet added to the channel list.