Drama launches and other UKTV changes

DramaNew channel Drama has launched this week.

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.

Blighty to be replaced with Drama this month

DramaIt has been confirmed Blighty will close to make way for Drama this month.

UKTV-owned Blighty will close down at 3am on the 5th July to be replaced with new UKTV channel Drama which launches on the 8th July.

Blighty launched back in 2004 – originally called UKTV People before rebranding to its current name in 2009.

Drama will be available on Freeview channel 20 (ousting Top Up TV channel Gold to a different EPG position), Sky and Virgin Media.

See www.dramachannel.tv for more information on the channel.

New UKTV channel Drama to launch in July

A new channel from UKTV showcasing the best of British drama will launch on the 8th July.

The new offering, named simply Drama, will be available on Freeview from launch and is also thought to be launching on Sky and Virgin platforms.

Shows on the new channel will include the likes of Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Sharpe, Pride And Prejudice, Lark Rise To Candleford and Cranford.


UKTV HD channel launches

Watch HD and Dave HD have launched on Sky and Virgin Media.

If you’re an HD customer, Dave HD is available on Sky channel 111 and Virgin Media channel 129, and Watch HD is available on Sky channel 109 and Virgin Media channel 125.

Also, Eden HD and Good Food HD were both added to Virgin Media’s channel lineup on the 7th October.

Eden HD is available on channel 209 and Good Food HD is available on channel 249.

This is the first time Eden HD and Good Food HD have been available outside of Sky’s platform, where they exclusively launched a year ago.

Due to the recent channel launches on Virgin Media’s TV platform, some channels have changed their numbers:

125 – Watch HD
129 – Dave HD
190 – Watch +1
191 – Dave Ja Vu
204 – Yesterday +1
209 – Eden HD
210 – Eden +1
261 – Good Food HD
262 – Good Food +1


Scripps Networks Interactive gets Virgin’s UKTV stake

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 – New HD channels and Anytime+ deal

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.

Really to launch on Freeview this August

UKTV-owned lifestyle channel Really will make its Freeview debut on the 2nd August.

The channel – currently only available on Sky and Virgin Media – will be on Freeview channel 20 between 8am GMT and 2am GMT daily.

Really will replace Dave timeshift channel Dave Ja Vu on Freeview.

Dave Ja Vu will continue to broadcast as normal on other TV platforms.


UKTV Gardens now Really

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.

Click here for the official Really website.

Really logo

UKTV Food to become Good Food

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”.

Good Food logo
Good Food logo