Channel 4’s music channel operation remains crippled after nearly 48 hours. As part of its disaster management, multiple channels are simulcasting The Box.
4Music, The Box, Box Hits, Kiss, Kerrang and Magic form the six-channel network, which features music and youth orientated programming. Playout of all services originates from the incident-hit Red Bee Media site in White City, West London.
After an attempt to restore services following their original outage on Saturday evening, two sustaining services were observed in operation on Monday lunchtime.
At that point, Box Hits has joined Kiss TV. 4Music, Kerrang, Magic were simulcasting The Box.
Initially, a number of services began to return to air overnight to Sunday, but with some channels only showing a loop of music videos instead of scheduled programmes. Box Hits and Kiss were able to show separate programming during the early hours of Monday.
But as problems continued following the loss of servers at Red Bee Media, channels were reduced to two to maintain some service to viewers.
Service continuity requirements
Channel providers are obliged to maintain a service on Sky and other platforms, or face temporary removal. That has happened in the past on some specialist and international channels which have crashed off air. To date, it has never happened to a major broadcaster.
Inadvertently, this has enabled Freeview viewers to see The Box for the first time on Freeview channel 30. It also marked the temporary return of an all-music channel on that slot, after the original 4Music switched to showing entertainment programming for most of the time.
Channel 4 and Red Bee Media were unable to confirm when services would be back to normal. Millions of pounds worth of advertising slots have been affected by the technical issues over the past few days. The fault was triggered after a fire suppression system was activated, knocking out servers.
Meanwhile, technical glitches continue to plague Channel 4’s main service. After its initial restoration at the weekend, E4+1 remained off air on Freeview.