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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Type Television and Online
Country United Kingdom
Availability Cable / Digital
Founded 1997
Owner BBC Worldwide
Virgin Media Television
Official Website UKTV Online

UKTV is a digital cable and satellite television network, formed through a joint venture between BBC Worldwide, a commercial subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation, and Virgin Media Television. It is one of the United Kingdom's largest television companies.

UKTV's channels are available via satellite and cable in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. In the UK, Yesterday and Dave are available on Freeview, and selected parts of G.O.L.D., Home and Good Food are available through Top Up TV.

Most programmes on UKTV's channels are repeat broadcasts of BBC productions (although the entertainment channels also feature programmes made by other companies), and the channels themselves are played out by Red Bee Media from their broadcast centre in West London.



UKTV started as a single channel, UK Gold, which channel launched on 1 November 1992 as a joint venture between Thames Television and the BBC to show reruns of their 'classic' archive programming, following the closure of the British Satellite Broadcasting "Galaxy" channel that had originally held these rights from the BBC.

UK Gold's success and the coming need to fill digital television multiplexes, led to the creation of UKTV which operates several channels showing different types of archive programming. These included UK Arena, UK Style (home and lifestyle), UK Drama, UK Play (music and comedy, later PlayUK), UK Horizons and UK History, as well as the time-shifted UK Gold+1, and UK Gold Classics - soon renamed to UK Gold 2.

UK Gold 2 originally screened morning programmes from UK Gold time-shifted to the evening of the same day, but was relaunched with a completely new programme lineup and renamed UKG2 on 12 November 2003, (now Dave). Another channel, UK Living, was renamed LivingTV when it broke away from the joint BBC-Flextech ownership (now solely owned by Virgin Media Television).

On 8 March 2004 all of the UKTV channels changed their prefixes from UK to UKTV, and UK Horizons was split into two channels - UKTV Documentary and UKTV People. UKTV still cuts programmes (mainly documentaries) for commercial timing on the UKTV's factual channels. The UKTV channels have broadcast in widescreen as of 31 January 2008, although some programmes made in 16:9 format are screened in the compromise 14:9 semi-letterbox ratio.

Current channels and 2007–2009 rebrand

On 11 June 2008 UKTV announced that it was beginning the process of rebranding and expanding its channels, removing "UKTV" from their name, following the successful re-branding of UKTV G2 as Dave in October 2007.[1][2]

Channel Genre Old name Date of rename Original channel creation Timeshift service
Alibi Crime Drama UKTV Drama 7 October 2008 1 November 1997 (UK Arena) Alibi +1
Blighty British & people UKTV People 17 February 2009 8 March 2004 (UKTV People) -
Dave Male Comedy/Entertainment UKTV G2 15 October 2007 October 1998 (UK Gold Classics) Dave ja vu (formerly Dave +1)
Eden Nature UKTV Documentary 26 January 2009 8 March 2004 (UKTV Documentary) Eden +1
G.O.L.D. Comedy UKTV Gold 7 October 2008 1 November 1992 (UK Gold) G.O.L.D. +1
Good Food Food Programming UKTV Food 22 June 2009 5 November 2001 (UK Food) Good Food +1
Home Home & Gardens UKTV Style 30 April 2009 1 November 1997 (UK Style) Home +1
Really Reality/Lifestyle - 19 May 2009 19 May 2009 (Really) -
Watch General entertainment - 7 October 2008 7 October 2008 (Watch) Watch +1
Yesterday Historical UKTV History 2 March 2009 30 October 2002 (UK History) Yesterday +1

Former channels

Channel Closure date Closure reason
UK Arena 2000 Insufficient ratings, relaunched as UK Drama (Alibi)
PlayUK (formerly UK Play) 2002 Low ratings due to the closure of ITV Digital, replaced by UK History (Yesterday)
UK Gold 2 (formerly UK Gold Classics) 2003 To create UKG2 (UKTV G2 then Dave)
UK Horizons 2004 Replaced by UKTV People (Blighty) and UKTV Documentary (Eden)
UKTV People +1 2006 To create UKTV Drama+1 (Alibi+1)
UKTV Bright Ideas 2007 Low ratings. The slot on Freeview was then used for UKTV G2's relaunch to Dave.
UKTV Style 2 2008 To make way for Watch
UKTV Gardens 2009 Closed to create Really


External links

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