Channel 4 is pulling the High Definition version of its main channel and the All4 catch-up app from Freesat later this week, with the broadcaster blaming “a very significant” increase in the fees levied by Freesat for its decision.
In an email to users, the BBC and ITV-owned satellite platform said:
We’re sorry to announce that All 4 and 4HD will be leaving Freesat on Thursday 22nd February, 2018.
Channel 4 is still available in standard definition, but any recordings you have scheduled for 4HD will need to be re-set in SD (via channel 104).
E4, More 4, 4seven and Film4 remain unaffected and can be accessed via the TV guide as usual, but the rollback guide and catch-up TV for all of the Channel 4 channels will no longer be available via your Freesat box.
If you have any questions about these changes please read our Q&A here, and to find out where else you can watch All 4 please visit all4.com/how-to-watch
The Freesat Team
While broadcasting rules mandate that Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) make the standard definition versions of their main channels available on all platforms, they’re under no obligation to provide equal access to HD variants or add-on services such as catch-up apps.
The move puts Freesat at a serious disadvantage to the UK’s other subscription-free platforms, Freeview and YouView, both of which Channel 4 is an investor in and feature the entire line-up of free-to-air HD channels and all PSB catch-up apps.
A Channel 4 spokesperson told SEENIT: “We’re disappointed Freesat is changing its charging structure, leading to a very significant cost increase for Channel 4, which ultimately takes funding away from our content investment budget.
“To reduce the overall burden of our Freesat costs and make internal savings we have regrettably given notice to withdraw All 4 and C4 HD while we consider our long term relationship with Freesat.”