Drama, a new channel from UKTV, can be found on Sky channel 291 and Freeview channel 20. Carriage on Virgin Media is still pending negotiations.
Due to the new launch, Gold on the terrestrial subscription service Top Up TV moves from channel 20 to 26, Blighty has ceased broadcasting and Eden’s standard definition channel has moved to Sky channel 534.
Virgin Media has sold its stake in UKTV to Scripps Networks Interactive. The deal, worth £339m, sees Scripps Networks Interactive take Virgin Media’s 50% stake in UKTV.
Scripps Networks Interactive already own other channels such as Food Network which recently made its Freeview debut.
The other 50% share of UKTV is still owned by BBC Worldwide – the BBC’s commercial arm.
Kenneth W. Lowe, chairman of Scripps Networks Interactive, says “making a solid investment in UKTV and entering into a strong partnership with BBC Worldwide reinforces our core international strategy which we believe will create significant long-term value for our shareholders”.
It was originally thought Discovery would get the UKTV stake, but Scripps pipped them to the post.
What will this change mean for the UKTV channels? Will we see more UKTV channels on Freeview? Will certain channels close such as Good Food which has the same remit as Scripps’s own Food Network channel?
UKTV will be launching three new HD channels on Sky in the coming months.
Watch HD and Dave HD are due to be launched in October this year and Alibi HD will be available some time next year.
The new HD channels will join UKTV’s existing high definition offerings Eden HD and Good Food HD on Sky.
In addition to the new HD channels, UKTV have also announced a selection of their programme catalogue will be made available on demand for the first time as part of Sky’s Anytime+ service (available to Sky broadband customers through their set top box).
On demand content will start appearing on Sky Anytime+ this September.
The official UKTV press release says:
“Initially launching with hundreds of hours of programming throughout the year cherry picked from across its network, UKTV’s VoD service which will be refreshed on a monthly basis and nine box sets will be made available to Sky Anytime+ viewers every year. UKTV’s service will offer crown jewels from the BBC archive, well regarded third party acquisitions and high-profile UKTV commissions, such as: Fawlty Towers and Fry and Laurie: Reunited on Gold; Doctor Who and Total Wipeout USA on Watch; New Tricks and Murdoch Mysteries on Alibi; Top Gear and Argumental on Dave; Planet Earth and The Long Way Round on Eden; Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and My Flat Pack Home on Home; and Rick Stein’s French Odyssey and Rachel Allen: Bake! on Good Food”.Click here to read UKTV’s press release in full.
UKTV Food has been rebranded as Good Food. Good Food is available on Virgin Media channel 260 (Good Food +1 is on channel 261) and Sky. UKTV Food was the last channel to be rebranded in the UKTV package.
UKTV Gardens has rebranded today to become Really. Really can be found on Virgin Media channel 267 and Sky channel 248. Gardening content that used to appear on UKTV Gardens before it was rebranded will shift across to Home (formerly UKTV Style). The only remaining UKTV-prefixed channel to be rebranded is UKTV Food, which will change its name to Good Food on Monday 22nd June.
The final UKTV channel to be rebranded is UKTV Food. It’s been confirmed the new name for the channel will be Good Food. UKTV have struck a deal with BBC Worldwide to license the brand from them for the Good Food channel name.
UKTV say, in an official press release, “negotiated directly between the broadcaster and BBC Worldwide, this agreement permits UKTV to rebrand its dedicated UKTV Food channel and associated website while also adopting the new channel brand for all related commercial and promotional activities. UKTV’s new lifestyle channel, Good Food, will launch at 9am on Monday 22nd June alongside a complementary website”.
The tagline for the new channel will be “we have fun with food” and will have “80% of its schedule made up of brand new commissions and exclusive acquisitions”.
Matthew Littleford (UKTV’s controller) says “we are thrilled to mark our tenth and final channel rebrand with a completely different approach: licensing an established brand name that has both heritage and credibility associated with it”.