Timeshift channel

Timeshift channel

A timeshift channel is a television channel carrying a time-delayed rebroadcast of its "parent" channel's output. This channel runs alongside their parent: the term "timeshift" does not refer to a network broadcasting at a later time to reflect a local timezone unless the parent is also available. Often the timeshift channel's branding and advertising will be the same as that of the parent, with the channel number and respective timing being the only distinction between the two, but some, such as Channel 4+1 in the United Kingdom, will overlay a different digital on-screen graphic to distinguish the two channels. A few channels, like Film4+1 in the United Kingdom, do not carry a digital on-screen graphic on its regular channel or its timeshift channel.

United Kingdom and Ireland

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, most timeshift channels have a time delay of one hour, and are thus described as a +1 channel – for instance Living has a timeshift channel known as Living+1. More recently, some channels have launched timeshift channels with a delay of two hours – +2 channels. The most notable of these is FX, though the timeshifted channel is presented as simply FX+, rather than FX+2, but UKTV Style has also got an +2 hour channel but they call it UKTV Style 2. Most timeshift channels are available only via pay TV, although E4+1, ITV2+1 and Channel 4+1 are available via the UK digital terrestrial service, Freeview. More4+1 was also available until the launch of Film4. Cartoon Network+1 shut down on March 6, 2006 in the UK.


In Australia, timeshift channels typically carry a time delay of two hours, making the time shift channels run on local time in Western Australia. These channels may accordingly be described as +2, such as on Arena, although the timeshift for W. is called W2. Only ten timeshift channels currently exist, mostly allocated to entertainment channels.

The Americas

United States

In the United States, timeshift channels typically carry a time delay of three hours (in line with the time difference between the east and west coasts of the US), and are generally called "West" versions (the main channels are generally called "East" versions). For conventional broadcast networks, a timeshift channel is a network affiliate from a market in another time zone; for cable-only outlets, a timeshift channel is simply the original programming feed retransmitted at a later time, as in the case with timeshift channels in other countries.

The major US terrestrial networks broadcast without delay in the Eastern and Central timezones (UTC-5 and UTC-6, respectively), but delay programmes by one and three hours respectively for the Mountain (UTC-7) and Pacific (UTC-8) time zones. The start of US evening prime time programmes are typically announced in the form of "8, 7 Central", often written as "8/7c".

Sporting events are often broadcast live in all time zones, resulting in announcements such as "4 Eastern, 1 Pacific", generally shown as "4 ET/1 PT". In the event of a sporting event leading into the East Coast prime time, the following programs are often said to be "coming up next, except on the West Coast," as additional programming is shifted around to fill the time between the end of the event and the start of West Coast prime times. Many times, this is the programming which was preempted by the effectively earlier time slot in the western zones.


In Canada, English-language programming is transmitted without delay in the Atlantic time zone (UTC-4) and delayed in most of the rest of the nation. This results in the effective existence of, for example, +1, +2, +3, and +4 channels of the broadcast networks for satellite television viewers in the Atlantic time zone and -4, -3, -2, and -1 channels for Pacific viewers. French programming is transmitted without delay in Montreal's Eastern zone and delayed only in Western Canada.

Latin America

In Latin America, Spanish-language cable programming is transmitted without delay in Argentina and Uruguay, and delayed in most countries. Portuguese-language programming is transmitted without delay in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo's official time and not delayed in the rest of the nation, except for the major terrestrial broadcast networks, three HBO channels and two Cinemax channels.

ee also

* Delayed broadcast

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