Channel One (UK TV channel)

Channel One (UK TV channel)
Channel One
Channel One UK.png
Launched 1 October 2007 (2007-10-01)
Closed 1 February 2011 (2011-02-01)
Owned by British Sky Broadcasting
Picture format PAL (576i, 16:9) (SDTV)
Country United Kingdom
Formerly called Virgin1 (2007-2010)
Replaced Ftn
Timeshift service Channel One +1
(at time of closure)
Freeview Channel 20
Sky Channel 121
Channel 122 (+1)
Virgin Media

On Demand Content in
Channel 119
Channel 120 (+1)
Catch-Up TV on Demand
TV Choice on Demand
UPC Ireland Channel 129

Channel One was a television channel owned and operated by British Sky Broadcasting. The channel was launched on 1 October 2007 at 21:00 on Freeview, Virgin Media and Sky as Virgin1, replacing Ftn. The channel broadcast 24 hours on cable, satellite and Freeview; a one-hour timeshift, Channel One +1, broadcast on cable and satellite.

On 15 September 2010, BSkyB announced that it would close Channel One and sister channels Bravo and Bravo 2. Channel One's Freeview space on the multiplex was used to launch Challenge there. Channel One closed on 1 February 2011 at 06:00.[1][2]



It was announced in the summer of 2007 that Virgin Media Television was to launch the new channel. The network had previously expressed their interest in running a general entertainment channel to coincide with the relaunch on NTL: Telewest to Virgin Media. At first, the company stated that all of their other channels including Ftn, would still run as normal, but because of Ftn having a key Freeview primetime slot, this was later changed.[3][4]

The channel was launched as Virgin1 on 1 October 2007 on all platforms (Freeview, Virgin Media and Sky) replacing former Virgin Media Television channel Ftn. Some media sources have claimed that it was intended to be in direct competition with British Sky Broadcasting's flagship channel, Sky1, which in August 2010 had a 0.8% share of the market compared with Virgin1's 0.7%.[5]

On 20 February 2008, the channel moved from Ftn's old slots 153 and 154 on Sky and took over Bravo's slots 123 and 124, which were placed higher up on the EPG. The next day, the channel went on to achieve its highest ratings thus far, with the season premiere of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles which secured a 4.2% share of multi channel viewers.[6][7]

On 27 April 2009, it was announced that Virgin1 (on Freeview) would move from multiplex D to multiplex A, allowing the channel to broadcast 24 hours a day. It's vacated slot was used to launch a timeshifted version of the channel which broadcast from 18:00 to 06:00. In Wales, it was only available from 09:00 to 19:00, with the +1 service only available from 19:00.

On 14 May 2009, Virgin Media Television announced plans to revamp the channel. On 9 June 2009, it underwent a rebranding with new idents, break bumpers and onscreen identity. As part of the rebrand a mascot called Red was introduced, a puppet character from the creator of the ITV Digital Monkey.[8]

On 20 October 2009, the channel reduced its hours on Freeview to 09:00 - 03:00, allowing Tease Me TV to launch.

From 30 October 2009, the channel briefly aired TNA iMPACT! at 21:00 (which was also shown on sister channel Bravo at the time). This was the first time wrestling has been aired on free television in the UK since 2001.

On 1 June 2010, the timeshifted version of the channel ceased broadcasting on Freeview channel 35, allowing Yesterday to extend its broadcast hours. The timeshifted service continued to operate on satellite and cable platforms, between 04:00 and 01:00 daily (the live Challenge Jackpot simulcast on Virgin1 between 00:00 and 03:00 was not timeshifted).[9]

On 4 June 2010, British Sky Broadcasting and Virgin Media announced that they had reached an agreement for the acquisition by Sky of Virgin Media Television. Virgin1 was also a part of the deal, but was rebranded as Channel One on 3 September 2010, as the Virgin name wasn't licensed to Sky.[10][11][12][13]


On 15 September 2010, BSkyB announced that it would close Channel One and its sister channels Bravo and Bravo 2. Channel One's closure was for the fact that it aired programmes of a similar type to Sky3 (which is now known as Pick TV), of which both channels were on Freeview. On the other hand, many viewers considered its closure to be the result of Sky gaining more market share from Freeview, where Channel One previously broadcast. At 06:00 on 1 February 2011, Channel One ceased broadcasting on all platforms, with many programmes moved to other Sky-owned channels. It was replaced by Challenge on Freeview.[14]

Most watched broadcasts

The following is a list of the ten most watched shows on Channel One, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 18 October 2010.[15]

Rank Show Episode Number of Viewers Date
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
1.01 - "Pilot"
21 February 2008
Warehouse 13
1.01 - "Pilot"
8 April 2010
Warehouse 13
1.02 - "Resonance"
15 April 2010
1.01 - "Pilot"
11 October 2010
1.02 - "There is No Normal Anymore"
18 October 2010
Warehouse 13
1.04 - "Claudia"
29 April 2010
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
1.03 - "The Turk"
6 March 2008
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
1.05 - "Queen's Gambit"
20 March 2008
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
1.02 - "Gnothi Seauton"
28 February 2008
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
1.04 - "Heavy Metal"
13 March 2008

Notable shows

The schedule for Channel One consisted of a mixture of American and British comedy, drama and factual programming, both acquired and commissioned. The channel was pitched between female-targeted channel Living and male-targeted channel Bravo. In addition to exclusive content, Channel One also showed some content from Living, Bravo and Challenge.



  1. ^ Sweney, Mark (15 September 2010). "BSkyB to close Bravo and Channel One". London: Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Timeline of changes - January 31st to February 1st". British Sky Broadcasting. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Virgin Media Television announces Virgin 1". Virgin Media Press Office. 12 June 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2006. 
  4. ^ "Launch of Virgin 1 on Freeview". Freeview. Retrieved 24 August 2006. 
  5. ^ "Virgin 1 Freeview channel to rival Sky One". 11 June 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2007. 
  6. ^ "Virgin 1 takes Bravo's Sky EPG slots". Digital Spy. 31 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Terminator series gives Virgin 1 record audience". Brand Republic. 22 February 2008. 
  8. ^ "Virgin1 to go 24 hours on Freeview". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 April 2009. 
  9. ^ "UKTV extends Yesterday Freeview hours". Digital Spy. 2010-05-26. 
  10. ^ "BSkyB and Virgin Media reach agreements on sale of VMtv and channel distribution". Virgin Media. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  11. ^ Sweney, Mark (5 August 2010). "BSkyB rebrands Virgin1 as Channel One". London: Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Virgin1 to rebrand as Channel One, and acquires hit sci-fi drama "V" to launch Autumn schedule". Living TV Group. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Virgin secures new Sky carriage deal after VMtv sale". Broadband TV News. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  14. ^ "Channel 1 stops". BskyB. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  15. ^ BARB, via [1]

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