Where has the Smithsonian channel gone? What happened, has station shut down - changes to Freeview channels

The Smithsonian Channel is now incorporated into the paid streaming service Paramount +

There have been a number of changes to freeview TV this year. (Getty Images)There have been a number of changes to freeview TV this year. (Getty Images)
There have been a number of changes to freeview TV this year. (Getty Images)

The free-to-view Smithsonian Channel has shut down and will no longer be available on Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media.

The Smithsonian channel was launched in the UK in February 2019 and was dedicated to factual programming - covering a range of different topics such as history, science, space, nature and wildlife.

The UK version was based on the US channel with the same name, with some of the content being made in America and some of the programmes being produced in the UK.

The change comes as a part of a new Freeview update, with several new additions and channel closures taking place at the start of 2023.

Here is the lowdown on all the changes you need to be aware of.

Where has the Smithsonian channel gone?

One of the most high profile channel closures of 2023 was the Smithsonian Channel which was officially removed on 5 January.

The channel was known for programmes such as How Did They Build That?, WWII Battles in Colour, Ocean Super Predators and more.

Smithsonian Channel was formerly available on:

  • Freeview : Channel 57
  • Sky: Channel 171
  • Virgin Media Channel: 276

Some of the Smithsonian channel’s programmes are set to be incorporated into the paid streaming service Paramount + in the UK while other shows will be available on the Channel 5 streaming app My5, which is also owned by Paramount.

Paramount+ is a global streaming service which offers content from CBS, Showtime and the film company Paramount Pictures. You can download it in the UK for £6.99 a month or £69.90 a year with a 7 day free trial.

A Paramount spokesperson said: “From 5 January 2023, the Smithsonian Channel in the UK will move exclusively to Paramount’s popular streaming services, to reflect the way viewers consume or specialist programing and ensure its content is available to the widest possible audience.”

The streaming service also confirmed plans to make Smithsonian a new branded channel on the free streaming service Pluto TV. An exact time frame for the change has not been announced but it is expected in the near future.

What other freeview channels are shutting down?

Smithsonian is just one of a number of channel closures which have taken place on freeview TV over the past few months.

Celebration TV which was only recently added to Freeview Channel 275 in August 2022 is also shutting down.

The religious TV channel is still available for viewers to watch via their YouTube page.

Quest Red +1 which was officially shut down in November has now also been removed entirely from all TV platforms. Viewers are now directed to the main Quest Red service on channel 40. However, if you are still wishing to catch up on shows then you can through Discovery+.

Are there any new TV channels on Freeview?

While Celebration TV may be leaving Freeview there are three new broadband-connected channels which have launched which are all dedicated to religious programming.

These are:

  • Revelation TV - Freeview channel 281
  • God TV - Freeview channel 282
  • 3ABN - Freeview channel 283