Discovery Channel (British and Irish TV channel)

Discovery Channel (often referred to as simply Discovery) is a British pay television channel, operated by Warner Bros. Discovery. Its programming is based on programming produced by Discovery Networks Europe, Discovery Channel Canada and Discovery Channel from the US.

Discovery Channel
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
Picture format2160p UHDTV
(downscaled to 1080i and 16:9 576i for the HDTV and SDTV feeds, respectively)
Timeshift serviceDiscovery Channel +1
OwnerWarner Bros. Discovery EMEA
Sister channelsAnimal Planet
CNN International
Cartoon Network
Discovery History
Discovery Science
Discovery Turbo
Food Network
Investigation Discovery
Quest Red
TCM Movies
Launched1 April 1989
Streaming media
Sky GoWatch live (UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV Anywhere (UK)Watch live (UK only)
Virgin Media Horizon Go (Ireland)Watch live (Ireland only)
Watch live (+1, Ireland only)


It first became available in the UK on 1 April 1989 when Discovery Channel Europe was launched. It was the first extension of the Discovery Channel outside the United States.[1]

Prior to 1993, UK viewers could receive the channel from Intelsat satellites at 27.5° West. In July 1993, the Discovery Channel launched on the Astra 1C analogue satellite on the popular 19.2° East position where it used to broadcast only in the evening, starting at 4 pm. On Astra, the daytime space was filled by CMT Europe until 1994, when TLC (later on Discovery Home & Leisure) moved there. Eventually, Discovery Home & Leisure would broadcast from the morning to 4 pm when Discovery Channel took over and would broadcast for ten hours until 2 am.

With the launch of Sky Digital in October 1998, Discovery Channel moved its start time to 8 am, broadcasting for 18 hours per day. The time-shift channel, Discovery Channel +1, launched at the same time, as did several sister channels.[2] Analogue broadcasts were terminated in 2001.

On 22 May 2006, Discovery HD was made available on Sky as part of the Sky+ HD launch line up. It was also made available on Virgin Media's cable service on 1 April 2010.[3] From 30 June 2011 Discovery HD began to simulcast Discovery Channel in high-definition rather than use a separate schedule.

The channel briefly had a 90-minute timeshift, called Discovery Channel +1.5. It launched on 25 June 2007.[4] It was replaced by Discovery Science +1 on 21 April 2008.

An Irish advertising feed was launched in 2010. Sky Media Ireland operates the channel's output in terms of advertising, sponsorship and scheduling.[5]

In January 2011, Discovery Channel UK released its new look which places its emphasis on the D-globe logo. The project was created by DixonBaxi and Double G Studios.[6][7]

On 25 January 2017, Discovery UK announced that they were in a dispute over the fees paid by Sky for broadcast rights and for a time it seemed as though the channels could be removed from the platform after the end of that month.[8] However, an agreement was reached and programming continued uninterrupted.[9]

On 28 November 2022, Discovery is launched on BT TV and it will be launched in the BT TV Player as well and it will be watch from value packages as well.


See also

  • Timeline of Discovery in the UK


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 January 2009. Retrieved 2008-02-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Discovery Maps Out Its Digital Bskyb Services". The Hollywood Reporter. 19 August 1998.
  3. "Virgin Media customers to get Discovery HD channel and more HD programmes on demand". Virgin Media. 10 February 2010. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013.
  4. "Discovery launches second timeshift service". The Airwaves. 25 June 2007. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011.
  5. O'Carroll, Tristan (1 December 2009). "Discovery appoints Sky Media for TV ad sales in Ireland". Media Week. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  6. Discovery Channel UK – Current Idents (2011)
  7. Discovery Channel UK – Current Bumpers (2011)
  8. "Discovery UK is threatening to switch off its channels on Sky in an extraordinary disagreement". Business Insider. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  9. The Daily Telegraph
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