Two news channels disappeared from Freeview’s streaming service without notice this week, with Nigeria’s Arise News currently unavailable anywhere on UK platforms and Ofcom-banned CGTN losing Freeview loophole.
- Scandal hit Arise News was delisted yet again on Sky last week ahead of Freeview channel slot closing.
- China’s CGTN used streaming service to return to UK screens within months of Ofcom revoking its licence.
Arise News lost its Freeview streaming slot on channel 262 on Wednesday lunchtime, a week after the channel suddenly dropped off Sky.
The Nigerian news channel has gained a reputation for frequently dropping off Sky with no notice in recent years.
Launched in 2012, it grew rapidly and once operated a large London presence. In 2016, the channel became mired in scandal, with journalists and suppliers going unpaid. Since then it has gone through a regular cycle of being reinstated to Sky, before dropping off air. Sky will normally only remove a channel if payments have not been maintained or if it cannot maintain a technically compliant service via satellite.
Throughout this time, Arise has managed to maintain a presence on Freeview, where it has continued to broadcast as a streamed service, most recently on channel 262. The plug was pulled on the outlet at midday, leaving the network without a presence on any platform.
Nevertheless, the channel does continue to broadcast elsewhere in the world.
Arise News hasn’t commented on the loss of UK TV outlets and its X (formerly Twitter) profile still references availability on Sky. Given its history, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it did return one day again.
Sister channel Arise Play is also currently no longer available via a UK TV platform.
CGTN Freeview loophole closed
Meanwhile, a loophole that allowed China’s CGTN to reach Freeview viewers, despite having lost its Ofcom licence, has been closed.
CGTN lost its Ofcom licence back in 2021, when Ofcom found its ownership breached UK broadcasting laws. Later that year, it announced it was streaming again to Freeview viewers through the Vision TV portal, which recently moved from channel 264 to 261.
But its host Vision TV was also removed from Freeview earlier today, in an unexpected move.
Viewers can still access CGTN and sister channel CGTN Documentary via Rakuten TV in the UK. The Chinese broadcaster now operates under a French licence in Europe.