W (British TV channel)
|Launched||7 October 2008|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
0.03% (+1) (November 2017 , BARB)
|Country||United Kingdom and Ireland|
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom |
|Formerly called||Watch (2008–16)|
|Timeshift service||W +1|
|Sky||Channel 109 (HD)|
Channel 209 (+1)
Channel 809 (SD)
|Virgin Media||Channel 125 (SD)|
Channel 190 (+1)
Channel 211 (HD)
|Virgin Media Ireland||Channel 160|
|TalkTalk TV||Channel 311|
|BT TV||Channel 311 (SD)|
Channel 383 (HD)
|Plusnet TV||Channel 311 (SD)|
Channel 383 (HD)
|Eir Vision||Channel 109|
|Sky Go||Watch live (UK and Ireland only)|
|Virgin TV||Watch live (UK only)|
|TalkTalk TV||Watch live (UK only)|
|BT TV||Watch live (UK only)|
|TVPlayer||Watch live (UK only)|
The channel launched on 7 October 2008 as the new flagship channel for the UKTV network of channels. The channel would feature general entertainment programmes, primarily from the programme archive of the BBC, who own a 50% share of the network through the corporation's commercial arm BBC Worldwide. The channel featured flagship programmes from the BBC, such as Torchwood, general entertainment programmes from the corporation and international variations to popular current British programming, such as Dancing with the Stars (US version of popular BBC programme Strictly Come Dancing) and the various American editions of Wipeout, which is titled as Total Wipeout USA to avert confusion with the same-named British programme. The channel also featured programmes displaced following the repositioning of other UKTV channels, such as the move of all non-crime drama to the channel following Alibi's launch, and programming already shown on other UKTV channels in greater numbers, such as Traffic Cops. The Watch Channel Controller is currently Paul Moreton.
The channel also operates a timeshift service, called W +1, where the programme schedule is repeated by the channel one hour later. The channel receives no special branding, with the occasional exception of a special Digital on-screen graphic (DOG). It launched the same day as the main Watch channel on 7 October 2008 and was reported by AGB Nielsen Media Research on 2 September 2008.
On 29 July 2011, UKTV announced that it had secured a deal with Sky to launch three more high-definition channels on their platform. As part of Virgin Media's deal to sell its share of UKTV, all five of UKTV's HD channels would also be added to Virgin's cable television service by 2012. Watch HD launched on 12 October 2011 on Sky and Virgin Media, two days after Dave HD, while Alibi HD launched in July 2012. All three channels are HD simulcasts of the standard-definition channels.
When Watch launched in October 2008, along with G.O.L.D. and Alibi, the original on screen identity featured a large eyeball nicknamed 'Blinky'. The music used in the background of the television advertisements is 'You Will Leave a Mark' by Oxford band A Silent Film. The channels original idents featured a liveaction video of the eyeball being pushed around by a large and varied group of people around various settings until the eyeball ends up in the centre of the screen and the Watch name appears at the bottom of the screen. The set of four idents were produced by Red Bee Media for the channel. However, in April 2009, the four existing idents were edited by Aardman Animations to make the inflatable eyeball blink. In addition, four new CGI idents were introduced as well as the edited idents and in May 2010, a new ident for Scream if You Know the Answer!
During May 2010, UKTV were reportedly planning to overhaul the brand identity of Watch, after only eighteen months in operation. The broadcaster held a branding agency pitch and made an appointment within a month, with the review was being handled by creativebrief. The work included the creation of a fresh logo, strap-line and tone of voice for the channel, however, a spokeswoman for UKTV denied suggestions that the broadcaster would change the name of the channel and said that the overhaul was about "tweaking the brand and aligning it better with our overall strategy".
The new Watch logo and channel presentation launched on 23 September 2010, focusing on the idea that "TV is better shared!". The new identity, created by agency Harriman Steel, includes a new strapline, "Watch... together", along with new idents, end frames and a new logo. The idents feature a scene against a black background with various elements of the scene being provided, by people in black outfits. The scenes progress with the appearance of the film being seen in reverse until the ident pans to a screen displaying three phrases related to the scene ending with the word "together." before the Watch logo is placed over the last phrase forming the channel tagline. Other promotional material makes use of the channel tagline or the appearance that the channel promotions are held in place by the black dressed men, as seen by the various covered hands shown at the edge of promotion end boards.
On 23 January 2012, it was announced that Watch would receive a rebrand for a second time, created by DixonBaxi, and was to be launched on 7 February 2012, but new idents were made on 9 March 2012.
On 15 January 2016, it was announced that Watch would be rebranded as W on 15 February 2016.
The channel broadcasts a variety of programmes from the archives of the BBC and from international broadcasters. The following programmes are currently airing on the channel:
- 999 Rescue Squad
- Beverly Hills Pawn
- The Bill
- Border Patrol
- Boston's Finest
- Booze Patrol Australia
- The Catherine Tate Show
- Celebrity Advice Bureau
- Celebrity Haunted Mansion
- Celebrity Haunted Mansion: High Spirits
- Celebrity MasterChef
- Code Black
- Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
- David Beckham: Into The Unknown
- Derren Brown
- DIY SOS
- Doctor Who
- Dynamo: Magician Impossible
- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
- Gavin & Stacey
- Heston's Fantastical Food
- Honey I Bought The House
- In the Club
- I've Got Something To Tell You
- John Bishop: In Conversation With...
- Jonathan Creek
- MasterChef USA
- Million Dollar Intern
- The Musketeers
- My Family
- Nev's Indian Call Centre
- Nick Knowles' Original Features
- One Born Every Minute
- Russell Howard's Good News
- Sea City
- Stacey Dooley Investigates
- The Secrets in My Family
- The Strain
- Tipping Point
- Traffic Cops
- The Wave
- Who Do You Think You Are? (UK TV series)
- Who Do You Think You Are? (U.S. TV series)
- Absolutely Fabulous
- Beauty & the Beast
- Being Human
- Ben Earl: Trick Artist
- Best In Town
- Betty White's Off Their Rockers
- Bin There, Dump That
- Blues and Twos
- The Blue Planet
- Border Patrol (U.S. TV series)
- Cars, Cops And Criminals
- Celebrity Haunted Hotel Live
- Celebrity Haunted Hotel: Do Not Disturb
- Choccywoccydoodah: Starstruck
- Coastguard Florida
- Confessions from the Underground
- Covert Affairs
- Dangerman: The Incredible Mr. Goodwin
- David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities
- Dynamo: Magician Impossible
- Dynamo Live at The O2
- Emergency Bikers
- Escape to the Country
- Fake or Fortune?
- Flights & Fights - Inside The Low Cost Airlines
- Get Me to the Church
- The Hairy Bikers' Cookbook
- Haunted Collector
- Haunted Highway
- Helicopter Heroes
- Hollywood Treasure
- The Honourable Woman
- Human Planet
- Humble Pie
- Iceland Foods: Life in the Freezer Cabinet
- Jackpots And Jinxes: Lottery Stories
- Katherine Mills: Mind Games
- Kolkata with Sue Perkins
- MasterChef Australia
- MasterChef USA Junior
- The Men Who Jump Off Buildings
- My Breasts And I
- My Flat - Pack Home
- Nigel Marven's Cruise Ship Adventure
- Paranormal Witness
- Planet Dinosaur
- Planet Earth
- Police Beat
- Pride and Prejudice
- Primeval: New World
- Recruits: Paramedics
- Rescue: Code One
- The Restoration Man
- Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey
- Road Patrol Australia
- The Route Masters: Running London's Roads
- The Roux Scholarship 2013
- Sara Cox on Friendship
- Secrets and Lies
- Seven Envelopes
- Singing in the Rainforest
- Sky Cops
- Sophie on Fame
- Stacey Dooley in Australia
- Stansted: The Inside Story
- Street Crime UK
- Supersize My Job
- Undercover Boss
- World's Most Talented
- The World's Strictest Parents
The channel also produced and broadcast the programmes: Baywatch, Richard & Judy's New Position, The Borrowers, Tarrant Lets the Kids Loose, Hart of Dixie, Primeval, The Weakest Link, Walking with..., Love Soup, Dancing with the Stars, Outtake TV, and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps for a time, however, these are no longer broadcast.
Most watched programmes
|1||Dynamo: Magician Impossible||2.01||1,927,000||5 July 2012|
|2||2.02||1,826,000||12 July 2012|
|3||2.03||1,793,000||19 July 2012|
|4||1.04||1,441,000||28 July 2011|
|5||1.02||1,391,000||14 July 2011|
|6=||1.03||1,384,000||21 July 2011|
|2.04||1,384,000||26 July 2012|
|8||Alcatraz||1.01 – Pilot||1,299,000||13 March 2012|
|9||1.06 – Paxton Petty||1,229,000||17 April 2012|
|10=||1.08 – The Ames Brothers||1,193,000||1 May 2012|
|Dynamo: Magician Impossible||3.01||1,193,000||11 July 2013|
- "UKTV agrees on-demand, channels deal with BT Vision". Digital Spy. 22 March 2012.
- "Watch rebrands to w". campampaignlive. 15 January 2016.
- "UKTV unveils new channel brands!". Archived from the original on 12 July 2008. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
- "UKTV enters VoD market with landmark HD content deal with Sky". UKTV. 29 July 2011. Archived from the original on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
- "Virgin Media sells £239m stake in UKTV!". Financial Times. 15 August 2011. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011.
- "Virgin TV just got even bigger!". Virgin Media. Archived from the original on 11 October 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- "UKTV plans brand overhaul for Watch". Marketing. 18 May 2010.
- "UKTV wants viewers to 'Watch... together'!". Marketing Week. 23 September 2010.
- Clover, Julian (23 January 2012). "Rebrand for UKTV's Watch". Broadband TV News. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "UKTV reveals W: a premium entertainment channel". UKTV. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
- BARB, via