The Freeview Years: 2002
Highlights from 2002
ITV Digital had gone bust and just a handful of digital channels remained on the UK's digital terrestrial network. This changed in October, when Freeview was launched by the BBC and Crown Castle, bringing additional channels onto digital terrestrial television.
On the 30th October 2002, following several weeks of testing, the Freeview service went live from all main transmitters and main relay sites across the UK. With the launch of Freeview came the launch of new channels created especially for the free to air service.
The Hits (channel 18): a chart hits music channel. Initially the channel allowed viewers to call and request a music video. Music was played 24/7, with entertainment shows only starting to replace the music as the channel started to change ahead of 4Music taking over.
UK History (channel 12): The best of the BBC's history programmes via UKTV. The channel initially aired between 7am and 1pm. It later became UKTV History and then Yesterday.
TMF (channel 21): A second music channel, backed by MTV owner Viacom. With MTV channels firmly under a pay TV distribution contract with Sky, TMF was established as a free to air outlet. TMF followed a Dutch channel of the same name.