Yesterday (TV channel)

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Yesterday logo 2012.svg
Launched 30 October 2002
Owned by UKTV
(BBC Worldwide/Scripps Networks Interactive)
Picture format 16:9, 576i (SDTV)
Audience share 0.6%
~0.0% (+1) (July 2013, BARB)
Slogan "Entertainment inspired by history"
Country United Kingdom
Formerly called UK History (2002–2004)
UKTV History (2004–2009)
Replaced Play UK
Sister channel(s) Alibi
Good Food
Timeshift service Yesterday +1
Freeview Channel 19
Sky Channel 537
Channel 538 (+1)
Virgin Media Channel 206
Channel 207 (+1)
Smallworld Cable Channel 537
Channel 538 (+1)
WightFibre Channel 68
Streaming media
Virgin TV Anywhere Watch live (UK only)

Yesterday is a television channel broadcasting in the United Kingdom as part of the UKTV network of channels. The channel originally launched on 30 October 2002 and relaunched in its current format on 2 March 2009. The channel is available on satellite through Sky, cable services primarily through Virgin Media, and the digital terrestrial provider Freeview. The channel is available through subscription on the two former services, but is available as standard on the latter two platforms. Hours on Freeview had previously been cut, with transmissions finishing at 6:00pm, but were restored on 1 June 2010.


The channel originally launched on 30 October 2002 as UK History, a channel for the network's historic documentaries. These were previously found on the channel UK Horizons; however, the launch of UK History allowed the channel to broadcast more programmes in their schedule. The majority of programming on the channel is sourced from the BBC programme archive, through the part ownership of the channel by BBC Worldwide. The launch of the channel also coincided with the launch of the new digital terrestrial provider Freeview, following the collapse of the former provider ITV Digital. The service remained unchanged until 8 March 2004, when the channel changed its name in line with the rest of the UKTV network to UKTV History.

The channel was available full-time on all platforms until 15 October 2007 when the hours were reduced on the Freeview platform, resulting in the channel stopping broadcasting at 6pm each day. This was a result of the launch of Dave, which took over UKTV History broadcast capacity. UKTV History took over the slot used by the unsuccessful UKTV Bright Ideas that was sharing a slot with Virgin1 and Babestation.[1] The channel's inability to broadcast in prime time on Freeview resulted in a ratings drop. In November 2007, the channel had a 0.3 percent share of all television viewing, compared to 0.5 percent a year earlier.[2] This restriction remained until 1 June 2010, when broadcast time was extended until 1am each day,[3] following the closure of the Virgin1 +1 channel on Freeview. As a result, the channel can now broadcast fully from 6am to 1am daily.

As part of a network wide programme of relaunching all the UKTV channels under unique names and brands, the channel was renamed as Yesterday on 2 March 2009.[4] The new channel also took on extra programming including fictional historic series and programmes previously broadcast on UKTV Documentary concerning the natural history of the British Isles.

Since 24 July 2012, Yesterday offers more entertainment-led content along with a design refresh, which includes a new logo and idents, in order to attract a wider and younger audience.[5] For example, the channel has broadcast more repeats of situation comedies, such as Last of the Summer Wine or Butterflies.


The channel also operates a time shift channel called Yesterday +1, and UKTV History +1 before it, that is available on Sky and Virgin Media. The channel broadcasts the Yesterday schedule one hour later than the main channel, but contains no special programming or branding, with the occasional exception of a different DOG.[6]


UKTV History logo used between 2004 and 2009

When UK History originally launched, the channel used a simple name logo, stylised to appear as UK History, over an ident featuring the flicking pages of a book with images from history appearing on the outside edges of the pages. This ident featured numerous periods of history and numerous colours and was reused following the channels name change to UKTV History. Following the name change, the new two line logo was aligned to the left of the screen, replacing the old logo. The station also adopted a colour, in line with the remaining UKTV channels, for use in promotions on the channel and across the UKTV network. UKTV History's chosen colour was a green of a similar shade to olive drab, and would appear in three different shades at the end of promotions.

Yesterday logo used from 2 March 2009 until 24 July 2012

The new idents for Yesterday feature footage, overlaid with different audio from a different period, followed by a version of the Yesterday logo flipping over from the middle of the screen before the green and white Yesterday logo flips over. The video/audio is such arranged that an authentic vintage video is accompanied by modern music and vice versa, with a connection made between the first end caption and the music and the general theme of the music. For example, a video of a hooded gang is accompanied by medieval monks singing and a medieval style end caption, or a video of the first flying machines is overlaid with audio from the space missions and heralded by a computer style caption.

In July 2012, it was announced that Yesterday would receive a rebrand, created by DixonBaxi and was to be launched on 24 July 2012. A new collection of idents and a new channel logo were created to go with the new positioning "Entertainment inspired by history." DixonBaxi described the channel's Identity as "A multi-platform rebrand of UKTV Yesteray underpinned by the new positioning "Entertainment Inspired By History". This led to challenging the viewer perception of how history can be portrayed with the aim of transforming it into a vivid, immersive experience. At the heart of the rebrand is a new logo - an iconic Y which has been designed to feel timeless as if created by civilisations past. The facets of which are used to reveal the new dramatic content as slices of time. There is a refined simplicity to the on screen presentation with the idents capturing the sense of being in the moment and at the heart of the action."


The majority of the channels' programmes are sourced from the BBC programme archives; however, some are bought in from other terrestrial stations and some productions are commissioned by UKTV themselves. Programmes previously shown on terrestrial channels are usually edited for timing, to accommodate the current three commercial breaks within each hour-long programme. The most obvious example of this is for programmes originally broadcast on the BBC, as material lasting 58 minutes will be edited down to 42 minutes when shown on Yesterday. Some of Yesterday's notable programmes include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UKTV G2 becomes Dave, joins Freeview". Digital Spy. 20 September 2007. 
  2. ^ BARB - Monthly Viewing Summary
  3. ^ Laughlin, Andrew. "UKTV extends Yesterday Freeview hours". Digital Spy. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Shepherd, Robert (12 November 2008). "UKTV History becomes Yesterday". Broadcast. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  5. ^ O'Reilly, Lara (10 July 2012). "UKTV rebrands Yesterday channel". Marketing Week. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Virgin TV just got even bigger". Virgin Media. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 

External links[edit]