UKTV Gold, known as UK Gold until March 8 2004, is a British television channel, originally launched on November 1, 1992 (coincidentally, the day before Channel 4's 10th birthday) as a joint venture between Thames Television and the BBC to show their 'classic' archive programming (see: rerun). The channel's major drawbacks in its early years were the insensitive placement of commercial breaks in BBC shows, and the heavy-handed editing of BBC programmes to fit commercial timeslots. The channel joined Sky's basic subscription package in 1993.
UKTV Gold's programming includes such viewer favourites as:
UK Gold's success led to the creation of UKTV, still part-owned by the BBC, which operates several channels showing different types of archive programming. These included UK Style (home and lifestyle), UK Drama, UK Horizons and UK History, as well as the time-shifted UKTV Gold +1, and UK Gold 2. UK Gold 2 originally screened morning programmes from UK Gold time-shifted to the evening of the same day, but was relaunched with a completely new programme lineup and renamed UKG2 on November 12, 2003.
On March 8, 2004 all of the UKTV channels changed their prefixes from UK to UKTV, and UK Horizons was split into two channels - UKTV Documentary and UKTV People.
On November 1 2004 the time-shifted UKTVG2+1 was launched.
The BBC still cuts programmes (mainly documentaries) for commercial timing on the UKTV's factual channels, but programmes on UKTV Gold, UKTV Gold +1, UKTV G2 and UKTV Drama are now shown apparently uncut, often in longer slots. Most half-hour BBC sitcoms are shown in 40-minute slots.
UKTV Gold is available on digital satellite, cable, and digital terrestrial television in the UK.