Keep It Country rebrands and leaves Freeview channel 87

(Updated) Keep It Country ended transmissions on Freeview channel 87 in what has been described as a "temporary move". But the channel will continue to be available on compatible connected Freeview TVs from next week.

Just six months after securing wider coverage on Freeview, the channel which is just about to change its name to Spotlight TV, is closing its linear Freeview outlet over the cost of the Freeview slot.

It has signed up a deal to be included in the Vision TV streamed channel portal on channel 264, which means that compatible connected TVs will be able to stream Spotlight TV from 1st July alongside the other existing channels available on the Vision TV portal.

The name change and Freeview service closure come as the channel moves away from a purely country music schedule, to feature cheaper, archive television shows, including Bonanza and Pathé Newsreels. It comes at the end of a month, when the channel's owner demanded that licence fee money be used to prop up the channel.

There are no changes to Keep It Country/Spotlight's TV service on Sky or Freesat. The name change is due to take place on 1st July.

The removal of Keep It Country/Spotlight TV from Freeview channel 87 has been described as temporary. Under Freeview channel listing rules, a channel can be taken off-air for up to 12 weeks in one go while contractual and financial issues are sorted and retain its channel number.

If the removal was to last longer, the channel would have to broadcaster at least a filler service for a minimum of two hours a day in order to retain its position in the Freeview channel list.