BBC Four is a British television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and available to digital television viewers on FreeviewIPTVsatellite, and cable.

BBC Four launched on 2 March 2002, with a schedule running from 19.00 to 4.00. The channel shows "a wide variety of programmes including drama, documentaries, music, international film, original programmes, comedy and current affairs ... an alternative to programmes on the mainstream TV channels." It is required by its licence to broadcast at least 100 hours of new arts and music programmes, 110 hours of new factual programmes and premiere 20 international films each year.


BBC Four launched on 2 March 2002 at 19.00 GMT, having been delayed from the original planned 2001 launch. The channel replaced BBC Knowledge, an educational and cultural channel which had undergone many changes throughout its lifetime; in its final format it carried a schedule of documentaries and art programming, essentially a test of the new BBC Four schedule. BBC Four would rebrand this channel, and bring it into line with the well recognised BBC One and Two brands at the same time. Planning for the new channel, along with the new BBC Three, had been in progress since October 2000; however, the incumbent government delayed approving the new BBC digital plans. The BBC Four plans were approved earlier, and as a result launched before BBC Three.

BBC Four was different from the old BBC Knowledge: the channel would be more heavily promoted with more new and original programming and the channel would not be broadcast 24 hours a day. This was due to the fact that on the Freeview digital terrestrial platform, BBC Four is broadcast in a statistically multiplexed stream in Multiplex B that timeshares with the CBeebieschannel (which is on air from 6.00 until 19.00). As a result, BBC Four broadcasts from 19.00 to around 4.00 each night, with an hour's down-time and promotions for CBeebies before the start of that channel's schedule.

On 12 May 2011, BBC Four was added to the Sky EPG in Ireland on channel 230.


Original programming[edit]Edit


Domestic repeats[edit]Edit


Music Concerts[edit]Edit

  • Queen 1975 Live
  • Madness Live (Part of Goodbye Television Centre)
  • Coldplay Live

Children Classics (shown in 2007)[edit]Edit

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