UKTV Company Timeline

Your guide to our business history, from our beginnings as UK Gold to where we are today.

UKTV Timeline

1 November 1992

UK Gold, backed by BBC Enterprises, Thames Television and Cox Enterprises, launches. The channel broadcasts classic programming from the archives of the BBC and Thames. UK Living launches the following year.

1 November 1997

Flextech deal with BBC WW creates the UKTV Joint Venture business; UK Living folds into Flextech TV. Three new channels join UK Gold: UK Arena, UK Style and UK Horizons.

April 1998

Dick Emery becomes CEO.

October 1998

UK Gold Classics arrives and broadcasts archive comedy programmes.

October 1998

Music and comedy channel UK Play launches.

April 1999

UK Gold Classics rebrands to UK Gold 2 and becomes a time-shift channel for UK Gold, broadcasting daytime programmes from UK Gold in the evening.

March 2000

UK Arena evolves into UK Drama.

November 2000

UK Play becomes Play UK and has a new look.

November 2001

Food content is taken from UK Style to launch UK Food.

September 2002

Play UK closes.

October 2002

Freeview launches with new channel, UK History, available on the platform.

January 2003

UK Bright Ideas appears on Freeview, broadcasting a mixture of programming from UK Style and UK Food.

November 2003

UK Gold 2 rebrands as UKG2 with a new schedule and style.

March 2004

All channels have their prefixes changed from UK to UKTV. UK Horizons is split into two channels: UKTV Documentary and UKTV People.

November 2004

A one-hour timeshifted service of UKTVG2 begins to operating under the name UKTV G2 +1.


Launch of UKTV Style Gardens, allowing UKTV Style to focus on its home-related programming.

November 2006

John Keeling becomes interim CEO.


UKTV Style Gardens becomes UKTV Gardens.

April 2007

David Abraham becomes CEO.

October 2007

UKTVG2 (previously UKG2) becomes Dave and launches on Freeview. UKTVG2 +1 becomes Dave +1. UKTV Bright Ideas closes.

June 2008

UKTV announces the rebrand of its channels, removing UKTV from their name.

October 2008

UKTV Gold becomes G.O.L.D., focusing on comedy, UKTV Drama becomes crime drama channel Alibi, and a new general entertainment channel called Watch launches.

January 2009

UKTV Documentary closes and launches as natural history channel Eden.

February 2009

UKTV People becomes Blighty, with programming related to Britain and society. Dave +1 is renamed Dave ja vu.

March 2009

UKTV History rebrands to Yesterday.

April 2009

UKTV Style rebrands to Home.

May 2009

UKTV Gardens closes with some programming migrating to Home. The channel slot is taken by new channel Really.

June 2009

UKTV Food becomes Good Food.

August 2009

Good Food HD launches.

September 2010

Darren Childs becomes CEO.

October 2010

Eden HD launches.

January 2011

Channel 4 Sales becomes the exclusive advertising representative for the UKTV portfolio.

July 2011

UKTV signs landmark content deal with BSkyB (Sky) to launch its first video on demand (VoD) service on Sky Anytime+. UKTV's VOD service makes hundreds of hours of programming from across the network available to Sky Anytime+ viewers every year.

August 2011

Virgin Media (previously known as Flextech) sells its 50% stake in UKTV to Scripps Network Interactive.

Really launches on Freeview.

October 2011

Dave and Watch HD both launch.

March 2012

UKTV creates its first IPTV content deal with BT Vision. The three-year agreement covers both channel-branded VOD content and the network's portfolio of linear, paid-for television channels, beginning with Watch, Gold and Alibi in late 2012.

May 2012

Sky Media Ireland wins the contract to handle advertising sales for UKTV's channels in Ireland.

July 2012

TalkTalk carries all of UKTV's branded channels and selected VOD programmes on TalkTalk's YouView platform.

Alibi launches in HD.

Dedicated Irish ad feed launches for Dave and Gold.

October 2012

UKTV launches its own branded On Demand player - Dave On Demand.

November 2012

Yesterday On Demand launches.

December 2012

Really On Demand launches.

New Eden website launches.

January 2013

Dave App launches on iOS devices.

February 2013

New Watch, Gold and Alibi website launch.

March 2013

UKTV Network brand evolution.

July 2013

Blighty closes

UKTV launches brand new channel, Drama, on Sky, Freeview, YouView, BT and Talk Talk

Dave launches seven-day catch up service on YouView

August 2013

Drama launches on Virgin TV

October 2013

Catch-up services for Watch, Gold, Dave and Alibi launch on Sky Go

All UKTV channels launch on eircom's eVision TV service

Gold launches on NOW TV

November 2013

All UKTV channels launch on Virgin TV Anywhere

January 2014

Watch, Gold, Dave and Alibi Catch Up services launch on Sky on Demand [Archive services were already available for all four channels]

Yesterday and Really launch seven-day catch up services on YouView

April 2014

Dave gets a brand refresh

June 2014

UKTV announces launch of first non-linear Brand, UKTV Play

July 2014

UKTV moves to new Hammersmith headquarters, built for innovation Gold gets a brand refresh

August 2014

UKTV Play iOS app launches

November 2014

UKTV Box Sets and catch up TV launch on Virgin TV, under UKTV Play

UKTV Play launches on PC and YouView

February 2015

UKTV Play Android app launches

March 2015

Drama launches on UKTV Play

June 2015

UKTV opens high-spec in-house production facility

July 2015

Alibi gets a brand refresh

August 2015

BT extends deal with UKTV to include all 10 channels on its BT TV set top boxes, with launch of Good Food, Eden and Home. New deal also includes catch up for UKTV's Pay channels, via a UKTV Play-branded service

October 2015

UKTV Play launches on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

December 2015

Really, Yesterday and Drama launch on Freesat

January 2016

UKTV broadcasts first ever live sports programming with Live Boxing: David Haye v Mark De Mori on free-to-air channel Dave, 16 January

February 2016

Pay channel Watch evolves into premium entertainment channel W, launching on 15 February

June 2016

Overhaul of UKTV Play user experience - new look and feel, improved functioning UKTV strikes landmark deal with Virgin Media to provide over 10k hours of entertainment to its TV customers

W launches on Virgin Media Ireland

July 2016

UKTV extends broadcast services contract with Ericsson

August 2016

UKTV Play launches on Freeview Play on 24 August

January 2017

UKTV and Channel 4 agree long term extension of exclusive ad sales partnership