Why BBC Four is moving channels AGAIN on Scottish Freeview...

Freeview viewers in Scotland need to learn yet another new channel number for BBC Four.

Viewers have spotted an on-screen message that arts and culture-led BBC Four is packing its bags to channel 68, its fourth Freeview channel number north of the border so far this year. The BBC hasn't yet confirmed the date of the move.

BT TV, TalkTalk and Plusnet TV viewers in Scotland are also affected by the channel number change, as these services are linked to Freeview channel numbering.

Following the change, viewers tuning in to channel 75 in Scotland will see a redirect message.

BBC Four started 2019 on Freeview 9 before being moved to channel 82 to make way for the new BBC Scotland channel in February.

Then, channel 75 became available, resulting in the channel making a move in August 2019.

Channel 68 - previously used in the Manchester area on Freeview - became available on a national basis on 1st October, and the BBC has now bagged the slot. 

However, it's unlikely BBC Four will stay put for too long: Ofcom has decreed that the channel must be moved to a higher ranking slot by the start of 2024, to sit in the top 24 Freeview channel numbers. It remains to be seen which service would have to be relegated as a result.

BBC Four HD, which is available in some parts of Scotland on channel 106, is unaffected by the move, as are viewers in other parts of the UK.

However, with channels 69, 72 and now 75 vacant nationally, viewers everywhere are likely to see some further changes as channels take the opportunity to secure a higher ranking slot on the Freeview channel list.

  • With thanks to @hischeekiness for submitting a screenshot of the on-screen message to the RXTV log and others for getting in touch. Paragraph two of this article was updated on 16/10/2019 to reference the on-screen message reports.