Ideal World gets demoted on Freeview following deal with owners of TJC. It’s understood to be the first instance of a channel swap, now permitted under Freeview channel allocation rules.
Ideal World will move temporarily to Freeview channel 50 on Wednesday 19th January 2022. Then a week later, it will move to channel 51, part of a wider change to Freeview channel numbers. TJC will swap places, moving up to channel 22.
Viewers may need to retune their TV to see the channels in their new places. However, there is likely to be some reluctance, as Freeview undergoes a major reshuffle just a week later, when viewers will also need to retune. Some newer smart TVs will automatically process the channel changes.
TJC is frequently publicising the channel change on air. Ideal World has so far been less keen to mention the changes to its viewers.
Channel number trade
Digital UK, the company responsible for allocating Freeview channel numbers, first allowed trading of channel numbers last year, following a rule change.
Until then, broadcasters took long-winded steps to swap channels. This included transferring ownership of a Freeview channel to a spin-off limited company, then selling the limited company to another broadcaster. The other broadcaster would then replace the channel with its own service. Blaze, Dave Ja Vu, FreeSports and Pick all gained their current rank on the Freeview channel list based on similar moves.
Ideal World asset stripping?
Ideal World is operated by Ideal Shopping Direct. The company is owned by the UK offshoot of German asset management company Auerlius. The company has embarked on a series of deals to offload some of Ideal World’s assets. Last week, it sold its craft channel Create & Craft to Hochanda Global, owners of The Craft Store. Previously, by creating a spin-off channel licenced to Craft Channel Host, the company was able to sell Create & Craft’s former Freeview channel slot to UKTV.
Ideal Shopping Direct previously indicated it wants to develop its online presence as a way of protecting against a decline in TV viewing.
TJC is owned by Vgl Retail Ventures Limited, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. It is part of India-based Vaibhav Global.
Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.