It’s the time of the year when music channels take down the decorations and switch back to normal programmes. But this year, there are a few other changes occurring.
NOW XMAS became the first Christmas music channel to come off the air this week. But instead of reverting back to NOW 90s, NOW Music has used the slot to launch its new NOW ROCK station. NOW ROCK is available on both Sky satellite and Virgin Media.
MTV’s ‘Xmas’ station comes to an end on Wednesday, with a simple revert back to MTV 90s.
Meanwhile, Trace reverts Trace Xmas back to Trace Hits on 3rd January. It was the first broadcaster to launch a Christmas-themed channel this season, back on the 1st September 2022, the earliest known Christmas channel launch to date.
Channel 4’s The Box music channel returns Thursday 5th January after spending the festive season rebranded as ‘BoXmas’.
On the same day, Classic Hits will undergo a rebrand: Classic Hits is due to be replaced by ‘That’s 60s’.
Classic Hits first launched in April on Freeview as ‘That’s Music’, a music channel spin-off from local TV operator That’s TV. Until now, the channel has featured different decades of music during various strands through the day. Recently though, That’s TV requested new broadcasting licences from Ofcom indicating its plans to launch a family of channels dedicated to a specific decade. Viewers of the main That’s TV channel on Sky, Freesat and Freeview have had a recent taste of That’s 60s, with the channel featuring back-to-back 60s hits. That’s 60s is next due to take over That’s TV’s daytime schedule on Sunday 1st January.
Classic Hits recently quietly reduced its Freeview hours further, so that it is currently only broadcast on Freeview channel 92 between 0400 and 0600.
▶ Overview: Music channel changes
|27/12/2022||NOW XMAS becomes NOW ROCK||363||348|
|28/12/2022||MTV XMAS reverts back to MTV 90s||352||313|
|03/01/2023||TRACE XMAS reverts back to Trace Hits||359||N/A|
|05/01/2023||BoXmas reverts back to The Box*||355||335|
|05/01/2023||CLASSIC HITS becomes That’s 60s**||366||N/A|