As of yesterday (7th February 2024) the Sony owned TV channels POP, POP Max and Tiny POP have stopped broadcasting on Freesat and are now only available to watch online through the POP Player or through a subscription service like Sky and Virgin Media.
Originally POP, and its sister TV channels POP Max and Tiny POP, were available on Freeview, Freesat, Virgin Media & Sky for several years, but over the past few years the channels have slowly been removed from the Freeview line-up. Since then all three channels were only available on Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media, but as of yesterday the channels were removed from Freesat and are now currently only available on Sky and Virgin Media.
Fortunately, there is some good news. The POP Player, which is available as both a downloadable app and an online streaming Freeview channel on compatible TVs, has been updated to give access to all three channels. Originally the POP Player was a ‘catch up’ service with a limited selection, but it did give a live feed to POP Max. Now, the application has been updated to allow viewers access to all three channels in one location. Sadly this service is only available on Freeview, or through the downloadable app, but at least the channels haven’t gone forever.
So, why is this news important and relevant? Well POP and POP Max continue to broadcast edited forms of anime, such as Bakugan, Dragon Ball Super, Miraculous: Tales Of Ladybug & Cat Noir, Pokemon Journeys and Transformers Cyberverse, and it offers a free way to watch those shows without a subscription (such as Netflix or Disney+). Interestingly the POP channels are not the only TV channels to be removed from Freesat, as other Sony-related channels (namely the Great Movies range of channels) have also been removed from Freesat without warning.