Freesat viewers are to get a nasty shock this week, with the announcement that Channel 4's HD channel and All4 streaming catch-up service are leaving the free-to-air platform.
Channel 4 is citing a "very significant" rise in fees from Freesat as the reason behind the decision to pull the channels from the BBC and ITV-owned satellite TV provider.
All4 and Channel 4 HD will stop broadcasting on Freesat from Thursday 22 February, though the standard definition channel will remain. That's a mandate of UK broadcasting rules – all Public Service Broadcasters must make their core channels available on all platforms, though they've no obligation to serve 'premium' HD content or catch-up offerings.
Unaffected spin-off stations
Thankfully, the news doesn't affect the whole stable of Channel 4 stations. E4, More 4, 4seven and Film 4 will continue to broadcast unaffected on Freesat.
However, it'll make Freesat users green with envy that basically every other service – from YouView to Freeview to Sky – each has the full raft of Channel 4 HD and catch-up services.
In a statement, Channel 4 said that it is "[considering its] long term relationship with Freesat." But shy of cutting Channel 4 a unique deal that could put other broadcaster's noses out of joint, it may be a long time before the channels return to the Freesat service.
- Beat the Freesat blues with the best streaming set top boxes