For the first time ever, Freesat customers will be able to watch UKTV channels Yesterday, Drama and Really.
Home to shows like Hitler’s Bodyguard, Nazi Collaborators, Weird Nazi Obsessions and other Third Reich/World War Two-centric programming, Yesterday will be parachuting down on Freesat channel 163.
Drama, home to repeats of classic British films (Captain Webb) and TV serials (Call the Midwife) will be delivered on channel 162 while Really, will serve up factual documentaries a la Louis Theroux: Behind Bars and Embarrassing Bodies on channel 164.
We’ve not been able to confirm why Dave, inarguably the biggest UKTV channel out there, still isn’t on Freesat. Historically, the reason why UKTV channels haven’t been available on Freesat is due to a long-standing rights agreement between UKTV and Sky.
While we won’t be able to take in any Red Dwarf repeats on Freesat anytime soon, UKTV says that the Yesterday, Drama are Really will be launching on the satellite TV platform later this month.
UKTV CEO Darren Childs spoke positively about the news but didn’t hint as to whether another channel from his stable would land on Freesat in the future. Childs said: “We work hard to secure platform deals that give more people our channels, and ultimately grow UKTV’s footprint.
“Freesat viewers will be able to watch gripping history shows on Yesterday, some of Britain’s finest, critically-acclaimed drama content on Drama, and unbelievable real life stories on Really. As UKTV continues to invest heavily in new shows, there’s never been a better time to have access to our channels.”
Equally, there’s no word on the prospect of catch-up service UKTV Play coming to connected Freesat Freetime boxes. Like YouView, Freetime devices let you stream content from the likes of BBC iPlayer, All 4, YouTube, Hopster and others as well.
Given that UKTV Play gives you access to content from Dave, as well as Yesterday, Drama and Really, it’s unlikely that the service will launch on Freetime devices without the full complement of channels. UKTV Play is also available online iOS, Android and Amazon Fire TV devices.
Update: A Freesat spokesperson told Recombu: “There are no current plans to launch Dave on Freesat. However, we are always looking at opportunities to extend our reach and are pleased to offer Drama, Yesterday and Really to Freesat users in time for Christmas.”