Spotlight TV, formerly known as ‘Keep it Country’, will be closing on Sky and Freesat at the end of the month, after the owner blamed ‘antiquated’ ratings data for its demise.
Sky has confirmed the channel will be delisted on Wednesday 31st August from its current position on channel 365. Spotlight will also be removed from Freesat channel 500.
Phil Mack, the channel’s owner, had previously said the cost of distributing the channel was £82,000 per month. He also blamed ratings data from BARB for affecting revenue from advertising agencies.
However, as a result of a crowd-funding exercise, the channel has now joined the Freeview-based Channelbox service. Available on Freeview channel 271, Channelbox acts as a portal to range of streaming TV services on any compatible TV, including Freeview Play devices.
The Channelbox outlet is expected to replace the current service through Vision TV (channel 264). Channelbox is also available on Android and Apple devices through the Channelbox app.
Ahead of the channel’s removal from Sky and Freesat, Mack stepped up his criticism of BARB. He said the channel’s zero ratings were because no-one in the 5,200-strong BARB audience panel had tuned in.
Mack commented about BARB’s ‘antiquated’ method of assessing ratings saying:
It does not matter if 100,000 homes tune in to a show, if no BARB panel member tunes in, that show is deemed that no one watched it.
He added he would be “taking action” against BARB in the coming months. Mack also blamed the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky who are among the co-owners of BARB.
In 2019, he told the Irish World newspaper the channel’s Memory Lane show was watched by 1.5 million viewers, claiming several of the shows were “in the BARB top ten ratings”.