bbcThe BBC is the world’s oldest and largest broadcaster, and is the country’s first and largest public service broadcaster. The BBC is funded by a government grant; it does not carry advertising.
The grant is financed by the payment of a television licence fee that all households with a television must pay. However, the funds do not go directly to the BBC but to the Treasury instead, via a government body known as TV Licensing.

The BBC first began a television service, initially serving London only, in 1936. BBC Television was closed during World War II reopening again in 1946. The second station, BBC Two, was launched in 1964. As well as these two services, the British Broadcasting Corporation now also offers digital services BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News, BBC Parliament, CBBC Channel, CBeebies, BBC Alba, and HD channels BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, BBC News HD, BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD, CBBC HD and CBeebies HD.

The BBC also operates a number of international TV channels. BBC World News, BBC America, plus a bouquet of thematic channels – BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle, CBeebies and BBC HD.
The BBC Canada and BBC Kids channels are broadcast in Canada, through a joint venture with Alliance Atlantis, while Animal Planet Canada is broadcast through a joint venture between BBC Worldwide, DCI and Canadian Television (CTV). In partnership with Foxtel and FremantleMedia, BBC Worldwide broadcasts the UK.TV channel to audiences in Australia and New Zealand. In partnership with Discovery Communications Inc. (DCI) the BBC deliver the international Animal Planet and People + Arts channels. Visit the BBC TV Homepage for more information & channel listings.


The BBC’s main channel, broadcasting mainstream comedy, drama, documentaries, films and the home of their television news, sport and children’s programmes.
BBC One is the oldest television station in the United Kingdom, and indeed, the world. It is the primary channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation, and first broadcast as the ‘BBC Television Service’ on November 2, 1936, although the BBC had been broadcasting experimental and test transmissions in a variety of formats since 1929.
The station held a complete monopoly on television broadcasting in the United Kingdom until ITV was launched in 1955.
BBC One’s history goes hand in hand with that of the history and development of television as a whole.

BBC One was from its launch in 1936 until 1964 known as The BBC Television Service, the worlds first regular television service.
BBC One began broadcasting on digital satellite in 1998 on the Sky Digital platform, the station was encrypted until 2003, when all BBC channels began broadcasting free-to-air.

There are 18 variations of BBC One in Standard Definition:

BBC One Scotland
BBC One Wales
BBC One Northern Ireland
BBC One London
BBC One West Midlands
BBC One East Midlands
BBC One North West
BBC One East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
BBC One Yorkshire & North Midlands
BBC One East
BBC One West
BBC One South East
BBC One South
BBC One South West
BBC One North East & Cumbria
BBC One Oxford
BBC One Cambridge
BBC One Channel Islands

There are national variations of BBC One HD available:

BBC One England
BBC One Scotland
BBC One Wales
BBC One Northern Ireland.

Most of BBC One HD’s output is ‘National BBC One’.
BBC One HD is available on Freeview, Freesat, Sky and cable.

See the BBC One website for more information.


bbc2mirrorHome to more specialist programming, including comedy, documentaries, dramas and minority interest programmes, as well as imported programmes from other countries, including non English language subtitled content.

There are four Standard Definition variations of BBC Two:

BBC Two England
BBC Two Scotland
BBC Two Wales
Two Northern Ireland

New BBC shows often appear on BBC Two, especially if those behind the show have not proven themselves elsewhere. A successful BBC Two show may be moved to BBC One, such as happened with Have I Got News For You. The channel also has a reputation for screening challenging and ‘prestige’ drama productions, such as Boys from the Blackstuff (1982) and 1996’s epic, critically-acclaimed Our Friends in the North.
BBC Two’s programmes always had a “highbrow” image, compared to those on rival channels. This perception persists in today’s multichannel world so that a programme that is moved from BBC Two to BBC One will often get a much larger audience, even though no other change has been made.
BBC Two is available on Freeview, Sky, Freesat Online and on Cable.

There is currently only one national version of BBC Two HD available for the whole of the UK.
BBC Two HD is available on Freeview, Freesat, Sky and cable.

See the BBC Two website for more information.

BBC Three


BBC Three (BBC II!) is an over-the-top internet television service operated by the BBC, which launched on 16 February 2016.
It is a replacement for the linear BBC Three television channel, which was discontinued the same day. The service produces and streams television and web series aimed at the demographic of 16–34 year-olds, with a particular focus on comedy and documentary programmes.

The replacement of BBC Three’s television service with a digital platform came as the result of budget cuts at the broadcaster, stemming from Director-General Tony Hall’s goal to not perform general cuts across the BBC that would compromise the quality of its programme output, and an acknowledgement of a shift in viewing habits among the service’s demographic towards online video services as opposed to traditional, linear television. Likewise, BBC Three staff argued that the service would no longer be bound to the limitations of traditional television, enabling producers to have a larger degree of flexibility in the programme content they can create for BBC Three.

BBC Three content is primarily streamed on BBC iPlayer, while the service’s other content, including web series and other materials, are also distributed through presences on social networks.
All full-length original programming commissioned for BBC Three will be broadcast on the linear BBC One and BBC Two television channels following their online premiere.

The service offers new, original content, as well as full series of previous BBC Three programmes (branded as “Box Sets”). New content consists of full-length programmes, and short-form web series and features; Kavanagh explained that the new BBC Three would focus primarily on original comedies and documentaries.
All long-form programmes commissioned for BBC Three must be aired at a later date on BBC One or BBC Two. BBC Three produces two curated content channels, such as The Daily Drop—which features blogs, videos, photo galleries, social network content, and other content trending online, and The Best Of.

See the BBC Three website for more information.

BBC Four

bbcfourflowersBBC Four launched on 2 March 2002, transmitting a schedule between 19:00 to 4:00. It shows “a wide variety of programmes including drama, documentaries, music, international film, comedy and current affairs … an alternative to programmes on the mainstream TV channels.”
It has a schedule dominated by repeats but is required by its licence to broadcast at least 100 hours of new arts and music programmes, 110 hours of new factual programmes and premier 20 international films each year.
BBC Four forms part of the BBC Vision group, and as a result, the channel controller is answerable to the head of this executive department: George Entwistle as of 2011. The channel direction is determined by the channels remit, set by royal charter and the corporation’s governing body the BBC Trust, and by the channel controller
BBC Four is broadcast in a statistically multiplexed stream in Multiplex B that timeshares with the CBeebies channel. As a result, BBC Four broadcasts from 7 pm to about 4 am every day, with an hours down-time and promotions for CBeebies, before CBeebies channel runs from 6 am until 7 pm.

BBC Four HD is available on Freeview, Freesat, Sky and cable.

See the BBC Four website for more information.

BBC News

bbcnewsBBC News is the BBC’s 24-hour rolling news television network in the United Kingdom. In May 2007 the channel became available for UK viewers to view through the BBC News website through a live stream.
Each hour consists of headlines on each quarter hour, extended at the top of the hour to form the main part of the daily schedule though these are interspaced with other programmes, generally at weekends. This will be often be displaced by rolling news coverage including reports and live interviews. Weather summaries are provided every half hour by forecasters from the BBC Weather Centre while business and sport updates are also presented generally from within the main studio.

Between 01:00 and 06:00 UK Time (UKT) the channel simulcasts with its sister channel, BBC World News, for the first 25 minutes of each hour with world news shown all through the simulcasts. Since 21 April 2008, the overnight bulletins, while produced by the BBC News Channel, have usually been broadcast from the studios of BBC World News.

BBC News HD is available on Freeview, Freesat, Sky and cable.

See the BBC News website for more information.

BBC Parliament
BBC Parliament 2016BBC Parliament is a television channel from the BBC. Its remit is to make accessible to all the work of the parliamentary and legislative bodies of the United Kingdom and the European Parliament. It broadcasts live and recorded coverage of the House of Commons and House of Lords, Select Committees of the UK Parliament, the three devolved assemblies, being the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Welsh Assembly, and occasionally from the General Synod of the Church of England. The channel also broadcasts reports from the European Parliament and the yearly party conferences of the main UK political parties and the Trades Union Congress.

Whenever the House of Commons is in session, BBC Parliament covers the chamber live. Additionally, the House of Lords is shown on the channel on the same day and following day when it in session, in sections that fit around the Commons. Whenever both Houses are in recess, but a devolved assembly is constituted, the channel will provide live coverage of its work.

Thus, when taken together with both live and recorded coverage from the other bodies it covers, BBC Parliament’s schedule is dominated by direct broadcasts of the legislative and political institutions – whether they be plenary, quasi-plenary (such as Westminster Hall), or in committees – that affect British public life. However, BBC Parliament shows a variety of other recorded programmes, taken from across the BBC’s national and international channels. The channel also carries some American programming from C-SPAN.

See the BBC Parliament website for more information.

BBC Alba
albaBBC Alba is a joint-venture Scottish Gaelic language digital television channel which is broadcast by the BBC throughout the United Kingdom on satellite, online and Virgin Media on Demand.
It is also available live on Virgin Media and Freeview in Scotland. The name Alba is the Gaelic word for Scotland and reveals the channel’s other owner, MG Alba. The station is unique in that it is the first channel to be delivered under a BBC licence by a partnership and is also the first multi-genre channel to come entirely from Scotland with almost all of its programmes made in Scotland. The channel partners are MG Alba and the BBC.

On-air for up to seven hours a day, BBC Alba broadcasts throughout the UK on satellite (Sky and Freesat). BBC Alba was added to Virgin Media’s cable television service on 18 May 2011 but is only available in Scotland, with select content made available through their on-demand service across the UK. Some programmes from the last seven days can be viewed online on BBC iPlayer and the channel can also be watched live through iPlayer.

After being approved by the BBC Trust, it has been broadcast on Freeview, in Scotland only, since 8 June 2011, making it available to all post-switchover households in Scotland. The channel is funded and operated jointly by MG Alba and the BBC.  The Gaelic Digital Service  includes BBC Radio nan Gàidheal during downtime hours (alongside simulcasts of BBC Radio Scotland & BBC Radio Five Live) and online content.
See the BBC Alba website for more information.


CBBC LogoCBBC is a BBC television channel aimed at 6 to 12 year olds. It complements the CBBC programming that continues to air on BBC One and BBC Two. Launched on 11 February 2002, it broadcasts from 7am to 7pm on Freeview, cable, IPTV and digital satellite, occupying the same bandwidth as, but a different channel position from BBC Three.

CBeebies is its sister service for younger children. CBBC Extra is a free interactive television service from CBBC provided by the BBC Red Button. It is accessible from the CBBC channel by pressing red and then selecting CBBC Extra from the main menu. It can also be accessed from any other BBC channel by pressing red and going to page number 570.

The service differs across digital platforms, for example Sky viewers can access a video loop. Its availability on Freeview is dependent upon BBC Red Button not showing other interactive services, such as major sports events coverage. The service offers numerous features including a CBBC Quiz, Horoscopes, Agony Uncle Chris, viewer content and jokes and other interactive elements.
The CBBC website provides a wide range of activities for viewers aged 6–14, such as games, videos, puzzles, printable pages, pre-moderated message boards and frequently updated news feeds.

CBBC HD is available on Freeview, Freesat, Sky and cable

See the CBBC website for more information.

cbeebiesCBeebies is the brand used by the BBC for programming aimed at children 6 years and under. It is used as a themed strand in the UK on terrestrial television, as a separate free-to-air domestic British channel and used for international variants supported by advertising, subscription or both. The brand was first launched on 11 February 2002.

CBeebies offers a mix of entertainment and educational programming. The channel’s schedule is deliberately the same every weekday, with a different schedule at weekends, so that children can know what is on instinctively. The schedule also includes signed programmes, shown in the UK between 14:00 and 17:00 on weekends. The international channels also show many programmes broadcast on the UK channel, however some include programmes unique to that service.

In the UK, CBeebies is operated by the BBC Children’s division and part of BBC North. The division is also responsible for CBBC and overall strategic responsibility for all of the BBC’s domestic services for children rests with the Director of Children’s.

CBeebies HD
CBeebies HD is available on Freeview, Freesat, Sky and cable.

See the CBeebies website for more information.

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