BBC TV Europe

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BBC TV Europe
Launched4 June 1987; 32 years ago (4 June 1987) as BBC 1/2 Mix in Scandinavia
1 April 1989; 30 years ago (1 April 1989) as BBC TV Europe for the whole of Europe
Closed11 March 1991; 28 years ago (11 March 1991) (Europe)
Owned byBBC
CountryUnited Kingdom (for external consumption only)
Broadcast areaEurope (except most of the United Kingdom)
HeadquartersHeadquarters (Europe):
BBC TV Europe News Centre, BBC Television Centre, London, United Kingdom
Replaced byBBC World Service Television Europe
(11 March 1991 – 16 January 1995)

BBC TV Europe was a BBC subscription-funded television service established in 1987, serving continental Europe, initially Scandinavia.[1] It was available on satellite and cable.[2]

The channel was branded as "BBC 1/2 Mix" when it launched on 4 June 1987, but was rebranded as "BBC TV Europe" on 1 April 1989.[2][3]

Initially, two regional telecommunications companies in Denmark, KTAS (Københavns Telefon A/S) and JTAS (Jydsk Telefon A/S) contacted the BBC with a view to retransmit both BBC1 and 2 on their cable networks in Denmark, offering the BBC payment to cover the costs of the satellite slots. The BBC's commercial division, BBC Enterprises, looked into the proposal but found it would be impossible to secure rights for this. This led the BBC to instead create a separate new channel for Denmark, known as BBC 1/2 Mix. This later expanded to Norway in late 1987 and Sweden in early 1988.[4][5]

The channel broadcast a mix of the programmes shown on BBC1 and BBC2 in the United Kingdom, as well as the BBC's domestic BBC Six O'Clock News bulletin, together with the regional news service from London. BBC1 programming took priority: when a programme on BBC1 could not be shown on the channel for rights reasons, it was replaced with a programme shown on BBC2.[2]

The channel was managed and operated by the BBC, but jointly marketed by the two Danish telecommunications companies. However, they were not able to make a profit from the channel, and sold their interest in it to the BBC, who renamed it "BBC TV Europe" and took full control of its operations and commercialisation, making it available to the whole of Western and Northern Europe (excluding the UK), and also making it officially available for individual viewers who wished to receive it directly via satellite by means of subscription. In 1990, a second service for non-UK viewers entitled "Enterprise Channel" was launched to complement the main BBC TV Europe service, but by the end of that year it had been folded back into the existing network.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

On 11 March 1991 the channel was replaced by BBC World Service Television.[12]


  1. ^ Reinventing Public Service Communication: European Broadcasters and Beyond, Petros Iosifidis Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, page 107
  2. ^ a b c Satellite Television in Western Europe, Richard Collins, John Libbey, 1992, page 70
  3. ^ Transponder News TeleSat News, 21 July 1996
  4. ^ Transnational Television in Europe: Reconfiguring Global Communications Networks, Jean K. Chalaby, I.B.Tauris, 2009
  5. ^ BBC TV Europe at Astra 2
  6. ^ BBC European TV at Vintage Broadcasting
  7. ^ BBC Engineering Information, No. 39, Autumn 1989, pages 1, 4
  8. ^ BBC Engineering Information, No. 40, Spring 1990 Archived 23 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine, page 11
  9. ^ JPRS Report - Science & Technology (Europe), Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 16 January 1990, page 8
  10. ^ Internationale Werbung in supranationalen Fernsehprogrammen, Matthias Stelzer, Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, 1994
  11. ^ Passeport pour les médias de demain, Jean-Michel Saillant, Presses Universitaires de Lille, 1994
  12. ^ Broadcasting in the United Kingdom: A Guide to Information Sources, Barrie I. MacDonald, Mansell, 1993, page 84