Pick (TV channel)

Pick (formerly Sky 3 and Pick TV) is a British free-to-air television channel, owned by Sky UK.

Logo used since 2016
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom and Ireland
Picture format16:9 576i SDTV
Timeshift servicePick +1 (2010–2022)
OwnerSky Group (Comcast)
Sister channelsBlaze
Crime & Investigation
Sky Showcase
Sky Kids
Sky Arts
Sky Atlantic
Sky Cinema
Sky Comedy
Sky Crime
Sky Documentaries
Sky History
Sky History 2
Sky Max
Sky Nature
Sky News
Sky Replay
Sky Sci-Fi
Sky Sports
Sky Sports Box Office
Sky Sports F1
Sky Sports News
Sky Sports Racing
Sky Witness
Launched31 October 2005 (2005-10-31)
Former namesSky Three (2005–2008)
Sky3 (2008–2011)
Sky 3 (February – March 2011)
Pick TV (2011–2013)
FreeviewChannel 36
Streaming media
Sky GoWatch live (UK and Ireland only)
FilmOnWatch live



  • Freesat UK: Channel 144
  • Sky UK: Channel 151


  • Virgin Media: Channel 156


Sky3 logo used from 2008 to 2011

Sky Three launched on 31st October 2005. It was essentially a barker channel for Sky's main entertainment channel Sky One and its other subscription services, which served to "offer digital terrestrial viewers the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of popular programmes from Sky".[1] From its launch on 31 October 2005 until 24 June 2010, the channel carried Sky Travel's commercial presentations selling holiday deals for a number of providers.

Early highlights from the channel's schedule included Futurama, Cold Case, Tru Calling, Relic Hunter, Road Wars, the Inside strand of documentaries, Brainiac: Science Abuse, Airline, and 35mm from Sky Movies (which looks at upcoming films in the cinema and on Sky's premium movies service Sky Movies) and Dream Team. The channel has also shown the free-to-air premieres of some of Sky One's more prestigious shows such as series 3 and 4 of 24, Rescue Me, The 10th Kingdom, Hex and the latest remake of Battlestar Galactica. The channel also showed seasons 3 and 4 of Prison Break in 2010. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: The Next Generation

Since its rebrand to Pick TV in February 2011, recent Sky One shows such as UK Border Force, Pineapple Dance Studios and documentary series hosted by Ross Kemp such as On Gangs and In Search of Pirates were shown. In recent years, Sky has spent more on the channel, with an increased focus on airing Sky Showcase and Sky Witness programmes 12–18 months after their original broadcasts, and content tailored towards Pick.

On 1 February 2011, Sky Atlantic launched on Sky channel 108, which had originally been occupied by Sky 3.[2] Sky 3 was renamed Pick TV on 1 March 2011, to dissassociate the channel with Sky as it began to air more programmes from the former Channel One and Bravo.[3][4] On Monday 7 October 2013, Pick TV became Pick introducing a new look and logo for the channel. On 28 June 2016, another new logo was announced which also included a brand new look.

In May 2012, Pick TV started broadcasting some older Sky One and Sky Living shows, and the former Channel One and Bravo shows.

Between June and July 2020, when the Premier League resumed after lockdown, all of the remaining matches were televised due to fans not being allowed in the stadiums. 25 of these matches were televised on Pick, branded as "Sky Pick" for marketing purposes.[5]

Freeview and rebrands

Sky Three was the first free-to-air general entertainment channel from Sky since Sky One became a pay channel in 1993. It launched on 31 October 2005, replacing the Sky Travel's EPG slot on Freeview in a bid to attract more subscribers to Sky's satellite service. Due to its wider availability on Freeview channel 11, the channel constantly had higher ratings than Sky Two where Sky Three was achieving on average a 1% share compared to Sky Two's 0.1–3% share. Instead of Sky selling on the terrestrial free-to-air rights for their programmes to another broadcaster, these rights are usually retained to remain exclusive to Sky. In 2008, Sky's entertainment channels changed the wording in the logos to numbers, hence Sky Three became Sky 3.

On 23 August 2010, Sky Sports News became a pay-TV channel, which was replaced on Freeview by a one-hour timeshift version of Sky 3.[6] Sky 3 +1 also launched on Sky channel 223 on the same day. A final rebrand took place in early 2011 and saw Sky 1, 2 and 3 gain similar rectangular logos to Sky News and Sky Sports.

The channel was rebranded as Pick TV (and Pick TV +1) on 28 February 2011. Only the name was changed, as the channel retained the look of the most recent rebrand which occurred a few weeks earlier. Sky's acquisition of Challenge saw quiz and gameshow type programming move off Pick TV. On 20 September 2011 at 14:00, Pick TV +1 was removed from Freeview.[7] This was so that all of the channels owned by BSkyB could be on multiplex C and Challenge could broadcast for 24 hours a day in Wales on the platform, in-line with the rest of the UK. On 1 March 2018, Pick +1 was added back on Freeview as a FreeviewHD service. A while later the channel moved from channel 97 to 92 on Freeview.

Since its rebrand to Pick, it is fairly common for Pick and Challenge to cross-promote its programmes to viewers. These include regular trailers in between shows, and when a certain show finishes, the continuity announcer will usually tell viewers what is coming up next on both channels.

On 18 June 2020, Pick +1 was removed from Freeview channel 92.[8]

On 17 September 2020, Pick moved from channel 11 on Freeview to channel 34 to make way for Sky Arts which moved to Freeview, which replaced Merit on the platform. On 4 November 2020, the channel moved to channel 35 as part of a move up where every channel from channel 24 to 54 on the platform moved up one place to allow BBC Four to move to channel 24 in Scotland due to new Ofcom rules regarding certain PSB channels requiring greater prominence on EPGs. This is because the BBC Scotland channel is on channel 9 in Scotland, whilst BBC4 is on channel 9 in the rest of the UK.


  1. Plunkett, John. "Sky Three to launch on Freeview", MediaGuardian, 22 September 2005. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  2. "Sky confirms strengthened entertainment line-up". British Sky Broadcasting. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  3. Farber, Alex. "Sky 3 to relaunch as Pick TV". Broadcast. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  4. Lane, Alex. "Sky3 to become Pick TV". What Satellite and Digital TV. Archived from the original on 30 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  5. Mitchelmore, Ian (19 June 2020). "What channel is Sky Pick and which Premier League matches are free". WalesOnline. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  6. "Sky Sports News to get bigger and better as a pay TV channel". British Sky Broadcasting. 17 June 2010.
  7. "Pick TV+1 leaves Freeview channel 44". Freeview. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  8. "Pick+1 removed from freeview". 18 June 2020. Archived from the original on 29 June 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.

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