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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

UKTV Media Limited
(former joint venture)
IndustryMass media
Founded1 November 1992; 28 years ago (1992-11-01)
FounderBBC Worldwide / Thames Television
10 Hammersmith Grove, London
Area served
Key people
Marcus Arthur (CEO)
ProductsUKTV Play
BrandsList of channels
ParentBBC Studios

UKTV Media Limited, simply known as UKTV, is a British multi-channel broadcaster, wholly owned by BBC Studios (formerly BBC Worldwide). It was formed on 1 November 1992 through a joint venture between the BBC and Thames Television. It is one of the United Kingdom's largest television companies.

UKTV's channels are available via a digital satellite or cable subscription in the UK and Ireland. The Dave, Drama and Yesterday channels are also available in the UK on Freeview and Freesat, two free-to-air television services in the UK.

Most programmes on the channels are repeat broadcasts of productions from the BBC archives, although the entertainment channels also feature some programmes produced by other companies and UKTV have commissioned a small number of programmes. Playout and other technical services are provided by Red Bee Media, which is owned by Ericsson.[1][2]

The UKTV channels have broadcast in 16:9 widescreen format since 31 January 2008, although some programmes originally made in 4:3 format are screened in the compromise 14:9 semi-letterbox format.


Origins (1992–1997)

UKTV started as a single channel, UK Gold. The original partners behind the channel were the BBC's commercial arm BBC Enterprises and the ITV contractor Thames Television, although before the launch the American cable operator Cox Enterprises stepped in and took a majority share, 65 percent, in exchange for underwriting the costs of launching the channel.

UK Gold launched on 1 November 1992, showing reruns of 'classic' archive programming from the archives of the BBC and Thames Television. In a sense, UK Gold succeeded British Satellite Broadcasting's Galaxy channel that had originally held these rights from the BBC.

Later on, United Artists Holding Europe stepped in as part owner, and that ownership eventually became a part of Flextech, which was controlled by the US cable company Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI). A second joint-venture satellite channel, called UK Living, began broadcasting on 1 September 1993 with programming targeted at female viewers.[3] Also in 1993, Flextech gained its first stake in the station after acquiring TCI's TV interests in Europe.[4] In 1996, it started discussions about increasing its stake to gain full control; at that point Flextech held 27% with Cox (38%), BBC (20%) and Pearson (15%).[5] By the Autumn, Flextech held 80% of UK Gold.[6][7] Flextech's main reason for increasing its stake in UK Gold was in anticipation of new talks with the BBC.[8][failed verification]

The launch of the UKTV network (1997)

During 1996, Flextech and the BBC held talks about a partnership to launch a new range of channels under the name UKTV.[6] BSkyB tried to compete against Flextech for the right to develop the BBC channels, but the BBC were against inviting BSkyB to participate in the pay-TV venture. BSkyB would have sought a significant share in the planned channels, in exchange for agreeing to offer them to its 3.8 million direct-to-home satellite subscribers.[citation needed] It was believed at the time that if it were spurned, BSkyB could develop competing channels before the Flextech-BBC launch, particularly arts and documentaries, as a spoiling tactic.[9]

The deal between Flextech and BBC was completed and signed in March 1997. Initially it was assumed that the new channels would be BBC-branded: BBC Showcase, for entertainment; BBC Horizon, for documentaries; BBC Style, for lifestyle; BBC Learning, for schools, and BBC Arena, for the arts, plus three other channels including BBC Catch-Up, for repeats of popular programmes within days of their original transmission, a dedicated BBC Sport channel, and a TV version of Radio 1.[10] Flextech wanted these channels to carry advertisements, but the BBC argued that BBC-branded services in the UK should not, as doing so would undermine the rationale of TV licencing.

A compromise was reached: BBC Showcase and BBC Learning, renamed BBC Choice and BBC Knowledge respectively before launch, would go ahead as BBC channels without commercials, while the deal with Flextech was passed to BBC Worldwide with control split 50/50,[11] thus allowing the remaining channels to carry advertisements. The 'UK' prefix was chosen for these new channels to capitalise on the success of UK Gold, as the brand by then had become a household name. The 'UKTV' network launched on 1 November 1997 with three new channels; arts channel 'UK Arena', lifestyle channel 'UK Style' and documentary channel 'UK Horizons'. UK Gold retained its name but received a new look in line with the rest of the network. Although the new network didn't use the BBC name and logo, its graphics and branding was in other aspects similar to the ones used by the BBC channels. The new graphics for the BBC and UKTV were both designed by the same company, Lambie-Nairn. Shortly before launch, it was decided the channel UK Living also owned by Flextech was to be renamed Living, instead of becoming part of the new UKTV network due to the similarity in programming between the channel and UK Style. On the same date, UK Gold celebrated its 5th anniversary.

Digital expansion (1998–2007)

This chart shows how the channels have developed over the years.
This chart shows how the channels have developed over the years.

With the launch of digital television in the UK brought about by Sky Digital and ONdigital in 1998, two new channels were launched to broadcast on the new platforms: 'UK Gold Classics', a sister channel to UK Gold showing older shows previously shown on UK Gold, and 'UK Play', a new comedy and music channel.

UK Gold Classics was short lived however, and relaunched as UK Gold 2 in April 1999. The new channel time-shifted the morning schedule of UK Gold from 7 pm for those who could not watch it at the original time. Popular at first, it dwindled in ratings after a few years.[citation needed]

To boost its popularity, UK Play was renamed Play UK and given a new look and new style of logo in November 2000, which the rest of the UKTV channels would adopt the following July. In November 2001, UK Style's food programming was moved to a new channel named 'UK Food'.

The rebranding of Play UK failed to make the channel more popular, and on 30 September 2002 it was shut down. October saw the launch of the new free -to-view digital terrestrial platform Freeview replacing ITV Digital, and with it the new history channel 'UK History', which was included in Freeview's licence to operate the platform. UK History took many of the history-related programming from UK Horizons. In January 2003, UKTV launched a lifestyle channel for Freeview called UK Bright Ideas. However UK Bright Ideas was not created for the same reasons as UK Food and UK History to allow other UKTV channels to have more time to schedule other programming, but instead showed a mix of programming from UK Style and UK Food (and later UKTV Gardens) for Freeview viewers, to promote the lifestyle UKTV channels available on pay platforms.

UK Gold 2 was relaunched with a completely new schedule and style as UKG2 on 12 November 2003, taking on some output similar to what used to be on Play UK before its closure, initially broadcasting from 8 pm each night before later expanding to daytime.

On 8 March 2004, the network carried out a major rebranding scheme where all of the UKTV channels changed their prefixes from UK to UKTV. UK Horizons was split into two channels – UKTV Documentary and UKTV People.

In 2005, the last new channel under the UKTV branding was launched, 'UKTV Style Gardens', later renamed in 2007 to 'UKTV Gardens'. Like UK Food, it allowed UK Style to focus more on its more home-oriented programming.

Network rebrand

UKTV logo from 2009 to 2013, not seen on screen like the previous and successor logos.
UKTV logo from 2009 to 2013, not seen on screen like the previous and successor logos.

In 2007, UKTV G2 was renamed 'Dave' and began broadcasting on Freeview, replacing UKTV Bright Ideas, seen as an experiment in branding for the network. The name is said to be originated from the fact that "everyone knows a bloke called Dave", and that the name seems appropriate for a male-orientated channel.

On 11 June 2008, UKTV announced that it was beginning the process of rebranding its channels from generic, UKTV-prefixed names to individual and separate brands, after the successful launch of Dave.[12][13]

The first stage of this rebranding began on 7 October 2008, when UKTV Gold was renamed G.O.L.D. (now Gold) and dropped its mixed entertainment schedule for pure comedy programming. UKTV Drama became the crime drama channel Alibi, and a new general entertainment channel called Watch (now W) was launched. It was with this rebrand that non-crime drama (such as Doctor Who and Jonathan Creek) was transferred to Watch. G.O.L.D. was on one level a continuation of the Gold name used since the channel's creation, but the letters also made up the channels new slogan: 'Go On Laugh Daily'.

2009 saw the rebranding of all of the remaining channels beginning in January with UKTV Documentary's rebrand to Eden, the name reflecting the nature programmes premiering on the channel. This was followed in February with UKTV People becoming Blighty, the new channel containing programming of the lives of the British population and the quirks of British society, and therefore explaining the slang name for Britain as the channel name. In March, UKTV History was rebranded as Yesterday, reflecting the channel's history-themed programming.

This was closely followed in April by the re-brand of UKTV Style to Home, the new channel retaining the previous DIY shows and home makeovers and also including the programming from UKTV Gardens; however, this programming would follow a few weeks later in May, when UKTV Gardens was closed. Its channel slot was taken by Really, a new female crime medical and reality channel, similar to Virgin Media's then named Living.

The final channel to be rebranded was UKTV Food, on 22 June 2009 as Good Food, to tie in with the BBC magazine of the same name. In June 2009 a final minor tweak to these new brands occurred when, for promotional purposes, trailers began to use the same style and all channels began to use a circle-shaped variation of their logo to show that they were part of one network, making cross-channel promotion easier than previously.

On 14 June 2011, UKTV announced it would be launching Really on Freeview channel 20 on 2 August 2011.[14] This resulted in the timeshift channel Dave ja vu broadcasting reduced hours of 02:00–04:00 on Freeview only to keep the EPG number available for future use. Really was the third of UKTV's ten brands to launch on Freeview.

Scripps Networks Interactive acquisition

Virgin Media were in talks, with a number of interested parties, to sell its 50% stake in UKTV. Bidders included Scripps Networks Interactive (a spin-off of the E. W. Scripps Company's cable television networks and online assets), Discovery Communications, ITV plc, and Channel 4. Channel 4 was the least interested party, and Discovery had made offers that had been rejected. BSkyB was also said to be interested. BBC Worldwide held first refusal rights and could exercise control over who bought the stake.

On 15 August 2011, Virgin Media agreed to sell its 50% stake UKTV to Scripps Networks Interactive in a deal worth £339m. Scripps paid £239m in cash, and about £100m to acquire the outstanding preferred stock and debt owed by UKTV to Virgin Media.[15][16] Completion of the transaction was contingent on regulatory approvals in Ireland and Jersey, which was received on 3 October 2011.[17] Related to the transaction, Scripps Networks Interactive and BBC Worldwide are negotiated an agreement whereby, after completion, BBC Worldwide would have the option, via a combination of cash and a package of digital rights for UKTV, to increase its shareholding from 50 percent to a maximum of 60 percent. Scripps Networks Interactive's existing voting rights and board representation would be unaffected by this proposed arrangement, which would be subject to BBC Executive and BBC Trust approvals.

BT Vision deal

On 22 March 2012, it was announced that BT Vision would offer UKTV original content on-demand from later in the day.[18] As part of the deal, UKTV started streaming linear channels to BT Vision set-top boxes in late 2012. The first three were Watch, Gold and Alibi and it intended to add further channels such as Good Food, Eden and Home.[19] Dave, Really and Yesterday were not expected to be included as they are already on Freeview, which is available through BT's hybrid IPTV/Freeview set-top boxes.

Corporate rebrand (2013)

UKTV announced on 18 March 2013 that it would reintroduce its company brand in celebration of its 21st year.[20] The UKTV logo re-design went live across the identities of their channel network and programmes on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 for its 21st birthday.

Dispute with Virgin Media

For almost three weeks in summer 2018, the UKTV channels were absent from Virgin Media. On 20 July 2018, it was announced that Virgin Media would stop broadcasting all of the UKTV channels from 22 July, amid a dispute over fees[21] and the lack of on-demand content from the BBC.[22] The companies were not able to agree terms[23] and the channels ceased to be available at just after midnight on 22 July 2018.[24] The channels returned to Virgin Media on 11 August 2018.[25]

Split of channels between BBC and Discovery

On 1 April 2019, Discovery Inc. (formerly Discovery Communications, which had acquired Scripps Networks Interactive in 2018) announced that BBC Studios would acquire its stakes in the seven entertainment-based UKTV channels for £173 million, along with the UKTV brand, and Discovery Inc. would acquire BBC Studios' stakes in the remaining channels Good Food, Home, and Really. The sale closed on 11 June 2019.[26] The sale was part of a larger agreement between the two companies for international streaming rights to the BBC's natural history programming.[27]

Commercials on UKTV channels

In 2003, UKTV announced plans of an experiment which examined the effect of different break patterns on advertising. UKTV teamed up with a number of advertisers to measure the effect of reductions in advertising spots, programme trailers and the number of breaks overall.[28][29]

In February 2004, UKTV reduced the length of its ad breaks in a bid to retain viewers and attract advertisers after results of its research show that shorter breaks produce higher advertising recall levels. From 8 March, Its junctions were limited to a maximum of five minutes, with three-and-a-half minutes of commercial plus one-and-a-half minutes of promotional material, instead of a standard seven-and-a-half minutes.[citation needed]

UKTV's move was similar to a solution suggested by PHD executive strategy director Louise Jones at 2003 Marketing Week TV United Conference, with a view to cleaning up breaks. Her proposal was for broadcasters to reduce spots by 20 percent and to charge a corresponding price increase for them; the theory being clients would not have to boost their media spending, thus improving UKTV hopes a reduction in the length of break junctions would help it to keep viewers and provide advertisers with improved cut-through.[30]



Channel Genre Former name Date of rename Original channel launch Timeshift channel HD channel Free/Pay
Dave Comedy UKTV G2 15 October 2007 October 1998 (UK Gold Classics) Yes (n 1) Yes FTA on terrestrial and satellite, Pay on cable
Drama Drama Blighty 8 July 2013 8 March 2004 (UKTV People) Yes No
Yesterday History UKTV History 2 March 2009 30 October 2002 (UK History) Yes No
Alibi Crime Drama UKTV Drama 7 October 2008 1 November 1997 (UK Arena) Yes Yes Pay
Eden Nature & Science UKTV Documentary 26 January 2009 8 March 2004 (UKTV Documentary) Yes Yes
Gold Classic comedy UKTV Gold 7 October 2008 1 November 1992 (UK Gold) Yes Yes
W Entertainment Watch 15 February 2016 15 January 2003 (UK Bright Ideas) Yes Yes

UKTV's channels are available via satellite and cable in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In the UK, on digital terrestrial television, Yesterday, Dave and Drama are available on the Freeview platform, and selected parts of Gold, Home and Good Food were available through the now defunct Top Up TV service. The logo on the UKTV branded channels has also now been replaced by a new design, shown on the right.

W (formerly Watch) is the general entertainment channel operated by the network. The channel launched on 7 October 2008. From launch until 2010, the channel's mascot was Blinky the eyeball, who was seen on the idents, logo, and website. A 2012 rebrand saw smoke, hairballs, crystals and liquid flying out of the logo.

Gold is the comedy channel operated by the network. UK Gold launched on 1 November 1992 as a joint venture between Thames Television and the BBC to show reruns of their classics archive programming. The output of the channel is mainly British comedy programmes and sometimes feature-length films. These are a combination of internally produced shows and repeats of shows from the BBC and ITV archives. In recent years, original programmes have aired on the channel and the US version of Dancing with the Stars has had its first UK airing on the channel. It was rebranded to G.O.L.D. in October 2008 as a comedy channel, with the name becoming simply Gold in 2010.

Eden and Eden +1 (formerly UKTV Documentary and +1) were launched on 8 March 2004, and focus on natural history documentaries such as Planet Earth. They are on Sky and YouView, but not Freeview or Freesat. Eden's slogan is One amazing world, one amazing channel, and the logo is swirled in a circle. A rebrand occurred on 26 January 2009.

Dave is the current flagship channel operated by the network the channel launched on 15 October 2007, and the first without the UKTV or any UK branding. Until September 2007 it was known as UKTV G2.[31] UKTV said the name of the channel was chosen because "everyone knows a bloke called Dave".[32] The rebrand included the channel being available free-to-air on Freeview, replacing UKTV Bright Ideas which only averaged a 0.1% audience share.[33] The move to Freeview saw Dave launch in the bandwidth previously used by Yesterday (previously known as UKTV History) which now uses the time limited (07:00–18:00) bandwidth once occupied by UKTV Bright Ideas. Dave is available daily from 7 am to 3 am on all platforms. It calls itself "the home of witty banter" and now[when?] uses Ralph Ineson and Phill Jupitus as announcers.

Alibi is another channel operated by UKTV. Its main focus is on showing crime dramas, mainly from the BBC and ITV archives. Originally launched as UK Arena on 1 November 1997, as an arts channel, it was renamed UK Drama in 2000 and shifted its focus to dramas, because of low ratings. On 2 May 2006, a new timeshift service called UKTV Drama +1 was launched, to replace UKTV People's timeshift channel. It was renamed Alibi in October 2008 and is now fully focused on crime dramas. The channel is available on Sky, Virgin Media and YouView.

Yesterday is a history channel. Known as UKTV History until 2 March 2009, it launched on 30 October 2002, to coincide with the launch of Freeview. Yesterday's main focus is on programmes with historical topics and biographies, nature and wildlife, and some historical fiction, often from the BBC archives. Hours on Freeview were cut when Dave launched, with transmissions finishing at 18:00, but were restored on 1 June 2010.

Drama launched on 8 July 2013 and is positioned as a home for British dramas from the last 40 years.[34] The channel became the fourth UKTV channel to launch on Freeview, after Yesterday, Dave and Really.

October 2013 saw catch-up services for Watch, Gold Dave and Alibi appear on Sky Go,[35] all UKTV channels launching on Eircom's eVision TV service and Gold launching on Now TV. The following month all channels appeared on Virgin TV Anywhere.[36]


In October 2020, UKTV Media took over the licence of the Freeview channel CCXTV,[37] a channel which had been set up by Ideal Shopping Direct Ltd[38] as a sister channel to their Create and Craft shopping channel. CCXTV was launched on 15 April 2020 as an entertainment channel and took over Create and Craft's channel number (Freeview 23), broadcasting from 7am till 10pm. Even though Create and Craft still had a shopping slot early on in the morning on Channel 23, the rest of the schedule was made up of imports and re-runs of shows like The Bold and The Beautiful, Never the Twain and Hot in Cleveland.[39][40][41][42] On 7 December 2020 CCXTV moved to Freeview channel 73, with Dave Ja Vu moving to channel 23.[43] On 25 January 2021, it was announced that timeshift channel Drama+1 would be taking over Freeview channel 73 on 1 February 2021, with CCXTV ending transmission.[44]


In June 2014 UKTV launched its first digital-only brand, a catch-up service, UKTV Play. Launching on iOS in August,[45] on PC, YouView and Virgin Media in November,[46] on Android devices in February 2015[47] and on Freesat in September 2018.[48] The interactive service features content from the channels Dave, Yesterday, Really and Drama.


Channel Genre Launch date Closure date Closure reason
UK Arena Arts and Culture 1 November 1997 30 March 2000 Insufficient ratings, relaunched as UK Drama (Alibi)
Play UK (formerly UK Play) Music and Comedy 10 October 1998 30 September 2002 Low ratings due to the closure of ITV Digital, replaced by UK History (Yesterday)
UK Gold 2 (formerly UK Gold Classics) Male 10 October 1998 11 November 2003 To create UKG2 (UKTV G2 then Dave)
UK Horizons Documentaries 1 November 1997 7 March 2004 Replaced by UKTV People (Blighty) and UKTV Documentary (Eden)
UKTV People +1 Timeshift Service 8 March 2004 18 April 2006 To create UKTV Drama +1 (Alibi +1)
UKTV Bright Ideas (formerly UK Bright Ideas) Style, Cookery and Gardening 15 January 2003 15 October 2007 Low ratings. The slot on Freeview was then used for UKTV G2's relaunch to Dave.
UKTV Style 2 Timeshift Service 15 October 2007 15 September 2008 To make way for Watch
UKTV Gardens (formerly UKTV Style Gardens) Gardening 23 February 2005 18 May 2009 Closed to create Really
Blighty (formerly UKTV People) Britain & Britons 8 March 2004 5 July 2013 Closed to create Drama
Good Food (formerly UKTV Food) Food 5 November 2001 12 September 2019 Sold to Discovery, Inc. and later merged with Food Network
Home (formerly UKTV Style) Home & Gardens 1 November 1997 21 January 2020 Sold to Discovery, Inc. and later rebranded to HGTV
Really Crime Lifestyle Medical and Reallife 19 May 2009 Sold to Discovery, Inc.
CCXTV Classic 15 April 2020 1 February 2021 To create Drama +1 on Freeview.

UKTV has also had many former channels which have been replaced by others. UKTV G2 was replaced on all platforms except Freeview by Dave, which still carries all the same programming on 15 October 2007.[31] Originally named UK Gold Classics, it was launched when UK Gold began to move towards newer programmes instead of older ones. From 2 April 1999, it was renamed to UK Gold 2, and screened morning programmes from UK Gold time-shifted to the evening of the same day. It was again relaunched with a completely new programme line-up and renamed UKG2 on 12 November 2003. Along with the rest of the UKTV network, the "UK" prefix was changed to "UKTV" on 8 March 2004 and therefore the channel name changed to UKTV G2. The output of the channel was mainly comedy from the BBC with some shows produced in house. A fair amount is similar to the comedy output of Play UK before that channel's closure. UKTV Gardens closed down in May 2009, in favour of Really.

Another channel, UK Arena, closed on 31 March 2000 due to insufficient ratings, relaunched – originally with the same graphics – as UK Drama. As said before initial ratings were disappointing and it was decided to relaunch the channel as UK Drama, with a focus on showing dramas rather than general arts programme. Along with the rest of the network, the "UK" prefix was changed to "UKTV" on 8 March 2004. The channel's main focus was on arts programming.

Play UK, another UKTV channel closed in 2002 due to low ratings after the closure of ITV Digital which a substantial amount of its viewers came from. The channel was launched on 10 October 1998 and was aimed at playing, for most of the time, music in the morning and afternoon while broadcasting comedy in the evening. It broadcast all day on the digital platforms but on the Sky Analogue platform (on the Astra 19.2°E satellites), it also broadcast between 1 am and 7 am when UK Horizons wasn't broadcasting. It closed for a number of reasons spanning from the closure of ITV Digital to how it could not compete with MTV. Play UK's comedy programming was moved to UKTV Gold. UK Gold 2, formerly UK Gold Classics, closed in 2003 became UKG2 and later UKTV G2 and then Dave.

UK Horizons closed in 2004 to create UKTV People and UKTV Documentary. The channel was mainly based on showing BBC documentaries and other factual programmes. Most programmes were abridged for commercial timing purposes. It took its name from the BBC series Horizon, which formed a staple of its output in the early years. It was launched on 1 November 1997 along with UK Arena and UK Style. It also produced extended versions of top BBC brands such as Top Gear and Tomorrow's World. The launch editor was Bryher Scudamore and the deputy editor Eddie Tulasiewicz. UKTV People +1 closed in 2006 to create UKTV Drama +1.

UKTV Bright Ideas closed in 2007 on all platforms for the relaunch of UKTV G2 as Dave going onto Freeview. Previously known as UK Bright Ideas and originally UK HomeStyle the channel broadcast a variety of programmes, often originally aired on UKTV Style, UKTV Food and UKTV Gardens, and are thus mainly cookery, DIY and gardening. However, in January 2005, it began showing programmes branded by UKTV Sport, presumably to increase potential audience figures by extending the programme to Freeview viewers. Bright Ideas was launched on 15 January 2003 initially for the Freeview digital terrestrial television platform, but later expanded. In September 2007 UKTV announced that UKTV Bright Ideas would be replaced on Freeview by UKTV G2, renamed Dave, as of 15 October 2007 due to low viewing figures of around 0.1% of the audience share.[33] It ceased broadcasting on all platforms on 14 October 2007 at 6 pm.

There was also a channel called UK Living that was originally affiliated with the UK Gold but did not become part of the UKTV network, instead transferring to Flextech to be operated as a wholly owned company, and it changed its name to LivingTV before the UKTV network launched. Also, an analogue teletext service known as GoldText was available on UK Gold, but has since closed down.

Blighty closed on all platforms on 5 July 2013, three days ahead of the launch of Drama. The channel originally launched as UKTV People on 8 March 2004, replacing UK Horizons, which closed the day before. The output of Blighty was some factual programming of a lighter nature, such as Top Gear and docusoaps like Airport, and from February 2009, "British" shows like "My Brilliant Britain". However, the majority of the channel's programming was abridged by the BBC for commercial timing purposes, a policy that some critics consider hypocritical. The channel was available on Sky and Virgin Media. However, it was not available on Freeview, despite the majority of the programmes being made by the BBC.

Good Food closed on all platforms on 12 September 2019 after merging its programming with Food Network following the channel's acquisition by Discovery Inc, which was originally a 50/50 joint venture between the company and BBC Studios. Good Food broadcast a range of food and cookery programmes, similar to that of the content of BBC Worldwide's BBC Food service. Initially most of the channel's output was aired on Home, which Discovery also acquired. The Good Food website originally devised and launched by Ian Fenn and Ally Branley provides a number of services including information on programmes shown on the channel, recipes, message boards, and a wine club. Recipes come from the various shows on Good Food and some include videos taken from the demonstrations. In September 2006 Good Food's website overtook the BBC Food site in popularity for the first time, achieving a 10% market share, against the 9.63% the BBC Food site dropped to, having held the top spot since it began.[49] It was named "Good Food Channel" on the UKTV website due to the fact that there is a magazine named Good Food. Since been taken over by Discovery. On 12 September 2019, Good Food closed and all its programmes were moved to sister channel Food Network.

Home was launched as UK Style on 1 November 1997 with the main output focused on home improvement, DIY and gardening programmes that are a combination of internally produced shows and repeats of shows mainly from the BBC archive. Before the launch of Good Food (then known as UKTV Food), it also showed many cookery programmes, these were later moved to Good Food. On 1 March 2016, it joined Freeview. Since been taken over by Discovery. In June 2019, Discovery announced that Home would be replaced by a local version of HGTV.[50]

Really launched on 19 May 2009. The channel focuses entirely on medical crime reality and lifestyle shows, which were previously broadcast on UKTV Style (now Home). In February 2005, UKTV Style Gardens was launched moving all gardening content from UKTV Style to the new channel. In early 2007 it adopted the name UKTV Gardens. It was later replaced by Really. It is available on Freeview, Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media. The Idents are a pop art comic design, with 4 idents, Changing Room, Cafe, Surgeon and Park Bench. The channel does not have a timeshift. Since been taken over by Discovery.

Operating names

In the production logo screen at the end of UKTV's original commissions, for the channels Watch, Gold and Dave the name UK Gold Services Ltd. is used instead of UKTV, as all 3 channels spawned from the original UK Gold channel. For the remaining channels, Alibi, Drama, Eden and Yesterday, the name UKTV New Ventures Ltd. is used instead of UKTV.

HD channels

UKTV launched its first HD channel; Good Food HD on 31 August 2010. The channel was originally available exclusively on Sky channel 283.

A second HD channel; Eden HD launched on 4 October on Sky channel 559.[51] Both channels are high-definition simulcasts of their standard definition counterparts.

UKTV announced on 29 July 2011 that they would be launching three new HD channels, Dave HD and Watch HD (now known as W HD) launched in October 2011, and Alibi HD launched in July 2012.[52]

As part of Virgin Media's deal to sell its share of UKTV, all five of UKTV's HD channels were also added to Virgin's cable television service by 2012.[15] Eden HD and Good Food HD were added on 7 October 2011, followed by Dave HD on 10 October and Watch HD on 12 October.[53]

On 2 October 2017, UKTV launched Gold HD, replacing Eden HD on Sky.

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2017 Diversity in Media Awards Broadcaster of the Year UKTV Won

See also


  1. ^ "UKTV extends playout contract with Ericsson". Broadcast. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Ericsson Brings Back Red Bee Media Brand". Broadcast. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  3. ^ "ITV stations that lost their franchise - Page 6 - TV Forum".
  4. ^ "Flextech Set To Acquire TCI Programming". Telecompaper. 21 December 1993. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  5. ^ "TS News – Flextech Reveals BBC, UK Gold Talks". 14 August 1996. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b Horsman, Mathew (30 October 1996). "Flextech ties up pay-TV deal". The Independent. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Flextech Set To Agree Channels Deal With BBC". Telecompaper. 16 August 1996. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Flextech and BBC Discuss TV Venture". The New York Times. 15 August 1996. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  9. ^ Horsman, Mathew (1 October 1996). "Sky aims for stake in BBC pay-TV". The Independent. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  10. ^ Willcock, John (4 March 1997). "Flextech to inject £20m into BBC deal". The Independent. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Joint venture channels". BBC Worldwide. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  12. ^ "UKTV to rebrand channels". Broadcast. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  13. ^ "UKTV unveils new channel brands". UKTV. 10 July 2008. Archived from the original on 12 July 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2008.
  14. ^ "UKTV secures free to air slot for Really, its cutting edge lifestyle channel". UKTV. 14 June 2011. Archived from the original on 18 June 2011.
  15. ^ a b "Virgin Media sells £239m stake in UKTV". Financial Times. 15 August 2011.
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External links

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