Motors TV goes FTA in UK
October 9, 2014
By Colin Mann
Motorsport-dedicated channel Motors TV is to be available to all regular free-to-air households across the UK from October 9th in a move that is set to increase dramatically the number of people able to receive the service.
Following a successful seven-month trial on Arqiva’s Connect TV service, communications infrastructure and media services company Arqiva has now enabled the network to be rolled out to the 9.2 million households that receive television broadcasts via standard free-to-air TV platforms.
New viewers are encouraged to re-tune their Freeview box or TV and switch to Channel 71, while YouView devices will automatically update. Compatible devices will also be able to pause and record programming, just like other standard free-to-air channels.
Motors TV’s free-to-air service, which begins broadcasting around 11:00 October 9, will initially mirror that of its current full-time Sky, Virgin Media and connected-free-to-air programming. However, at a later date this will switch to 20:00 – 05:00 on weekdays while remaining on air 24/7 during weekends (Friday 20:00 – Monday 05:00). Sky, Virgin Media and connected-free-to-air output will remain unaffected.
Motors TV accepts that while some new customers might find that slightly frustrating, it does allow the broadcaster further to expand its reach and offer far more motorsport fans the opportunity to tune in.
According to Motors TV’s Head of Programming and Acquisitions, Frederic Viger, the Arqiva trial proved there are far more motorsport viewers out there than were originally watching on its other platforms. “From the start, we saw it as a stepping stone and the fantastic response has given us the confidence to continue expanding. Plus, many more potential viewers have also been very vocal on social media about wanting to receive the channel via Freeview HD and YouView. Well, this is the result,” he declared.
“For the first time ever, terrestrial TV viewers can watch the widest range of live motorsport coverage in the UK, as well as world championships, international and national series, and the sort of grass roots categories that are already enjoyed by thousands of fans across the country. I should also add that we couldn’t have picked a better weekend to expand our potential audience as we’ll be showing V8 Supercars’ showpiece event – the Bathurst 1000 – live in its entirety. I know that will go down very well indeed,” he predicted.