Back in the day, we only had three or four channels to watch telly on. Things were pretty easy to follow. Then satellite came along and made things a lot more interesting.
Then we had Freeview, then online streaming, all sorts. There are now hundreds and hundreds of channels to choose from, whether it’s the many BBC or ITV stations, Sky’s offerings, UKTV’s catalogue, the various sport and movie networks, and let’s not forget the naughty channels that you hit when you go too far down the page.
But spare a thought for the now-defunct channels that no longer exist. These were all channels that at one point or another we gave a go, and perhaps even loved. But then, all of a sudden, they disappeared with little fanfare. Get ready for some serious nostalgia:
Launched: 1996 / Closed: 2001
Pronounced ‘Dot TV’, this was a channel dedicated entirely to technology. Known as The Computer Channel when it first launched on Sky, it generally broadcast from midday to midnight.
In 1999, it managed to secure an interview with Bill Gates, and at one point featured a game show hosted by Live & Kicking‘s Trevor and Simon. It was axed in 2001 due to low audience ratings.
2. BBC Choice
Launched: 1998 / Closed: 2003
This was the first British TV channel to broadcast exclusively in digital, and the BBC’s second non-terrestrial channel.
The channel was basically a mix of BBC One and Two, as well as some original programming such as its Glastonbury coverage, extended live sport and various children’s shows. It was eventually replaced by BBC Three in 2003.
3. BBC Knowledge
Launched: 1999 / Closed: 2002
AKA the boring BBC channel. Broadcasting for six hours each day, this was a multimedia-based channel showing educational and informative programmes. Basically, it was what your teachers wanted you to watch.
Aimed at both adults and children, it featured various GCSE survival guides based on the ‘Bitesize’ series, as well as various programmes aimed at getting kids online and embracing the digital world. This all sounds like medieval-speak now. BBC Four was its eventual replacement.
4. ITV Sport Channel
Launched: 2001 / Closed: 2002