Yesterday gets a new look from 24th July

  • Freeview Channel 12 to become even more entertainment focused as service nears its tenth anniversary.

UKTV's Yesterday channel, which airs on Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media, is to get a new look from 24th July, part of a two-staged change to the channel. The new look was revealed earlier today at a press briefing at the Graucho Club.

The channel's motto will become "entertainment inspired by history". The channel's new identity has been developed by Dixon Baxi, the company who were behind the recent rebrand of sister channel "Watch".

While the logo and idents will change from 24th July, more changes will happen in October and November in a second stage of change, when the channel's schedule will be "refocused" to appeal to a younger audience. From autumn, the channel will show “more pacy, dynamic content” with programmes like “British Gangsters: Faces of the Underworld” and “Fight Club: A History of Violence” joining the schedule, that currently offers multiple helpings of Antiques Roadshow through the day. On 30th October, the channel will be ten years old, having originally launched as UK History.

Although keen to appeal to younger audiences and appeal more to advertisers as a result, bosses at UKTV say they are keen to keep the current audience with them. UKTV is hopeful that the rebrand will match the success they had from viewers and advertisers when G2 rebranded to Dave five years ago.

Yesterday Action Ident Screenshot (Dixon Baxi rebrand)
Yesterday "Action" ident screenshot

A brief history of a history channel
The channel was launched to co-incide with the launch of the Freeview platform in October 2002. It started life as "UK History", later becoming "UKTV History". When newcomer Dave arrived on the Freeview platform, UKTV had to close UKTV BrightIdeas and move UKTV History onto the BrightIdeas slot, reducing its programme times to between 0600-1800, capacity sharing with Ftn (who in turn became Virgin 1, then Channel One), until Virgin 1 acquired its own capacity on the SDN multiplex in 2010. Yesterday, as it was now known, was again able to transmit its full schedule on Freeview. 

Over the years it has moved away from showing just documentaries (especially World War II ones) to showing more recent, mildly historic content, from the BBC including Coast and Wainwright's Walks and showing older dramas and sitcoms including Last of the Summer Wine. Increasingly it has invested in original programming, in line with other UKTV channels, breaking away from being a pure BBC repeats channel.

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