Smithsonian to get Freeview boost in New Year Reshuffle

Smithsonian Channel is among the channels on the move next week, as Freeview undergoes a rejig of channels for the start of 2020.

The factual channel will be moving to channel 57 around midday on Tuesday 7th January 2020, according to an announcement by Freeview, and at the same time moving to a new broadcast slot that will enable more viewers to watch.

Currently, Smithsonian is broadcast on channel 99, but only available to around 75% of households. The change will boost coverage to 90%. Smithsonian is part of the ViacomCBS family of channels, operated in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution.

However, PBS America has dismissed an earlier announcement by Freeview which indicated it would be coming off the platform next week. 

Other changes
As previously announced, Paramount will take 5Spike's channel number on 7th January 2019 as part of an effective merger of the two channels, while 5Select, 5USA+1 and 5STAR+1 all move up one slot.

CBS Justice+1 will be launching on channel 69 and Jewellery Maker will become more widely available at the same time.

Finally, Sony Movies Classic will take over from Sony Movies Christmas on channel 50 - however the channel will only be available in some parts of the UK, following's Sony's decision to reduce coverage of its channels last year.

As always, the changes will require viewers to retune in order to receive all available services.

According to an earlier update from Freeview, TJC was due to be removed from channel 49. This update alongside the PBS America announcement have now been retracted. TJC will be moving multiplex on the 6th, and viewers will need to retune to restore the channel. TJC HD, available in some areas on channel 115 is unaffected.

Update - 7th January 2020: Changes to the Sewing Quarter and Jewellery Maker, previously announced by Freeview have been postponed. It follows the end of live programming on Sewing Quarter last week.

Freeview updates...