The BBC launched the remainder of its channels in HD on satellite platforms earlier this year. As a result of this, at the time the BBC advised that it would be stopping transmitting these channels in SD on satellite in early 2024 and that it would be providing help and resources to impacted viewers to allow them to continue watching the BBC channels in HD.
Demand for these resources, as measured by the activity and take-up of support offered since the announcement in March 2023, has been much lower than expected and the number of homes still using SD-only satellite equipment appears to be far lower than anticipated. Following the introduction of ‘lower-third-of-screen’ messaging on BBC One SD in September, the help scheme is now in the final stages of migrating those remaining SD-only satellite homes on to HD-enabled devices. For anyone still seeing that on-screen messaging, we strongly recommend you upgrade your device to avoid loss of any BBC channels.
Because of this, the BBC is moving the date of switch-off of its SD channels on satellite platforms from March 2024 to 8 January 2024. That means from 8 January next year, a ‘channel closed’ message will appear on all the BBC SD channel feeds on satellite – (only those Sky or Freesat homes still using SD-only satellite devices can access these versions and these devices will need to be upgraded to HD boxes in order to continue watching BBC channels). This message will remain in place for a limited time and will direct impacted viewers, who have not yet upgraded, to where support is available. A reduced help scheme support service will remain in place for a short time after 8 January – more details will be made available here at a later date. Please note, Freeview channels are unaffected by the BBC’s SD channel switch-off.