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New Channel "Drama": Q&A

It's been announced today that a new TV channel called "Drama" will launch on Freeview on the 8th July 2013.

Here are ten common questions about the new channel:

Who is launching this channel?
It's a new channel from UKTV. UKTV is the company behind fellow Freeview channels Dave, Really and Yesterday. On satellite, cable and internet platforms, they operate Gold, Eden and Watch among others. UKTV is a joint venture between BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC and US media giant Scripps Networks.

What's going to be on this new channel?
Updated 23/06/2013: Programmes announced as being on the channel include:
A-Z of Drama programmes
Act of Will
Inspector George Gently
Rumpole of the Bailey
Birds of a Feather
Jack the Ripper
Born and Bred
Jonathan Creek
Bring Me Morecambe & Wise
Land Girls
Call the Midwife
Lark Rise to Candleford
Catherine Cookson: Dinner of Herbs
Last of The Summer Wine
The Bill
Catherine Cookson: Man Who Cried
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Cold Comfort Farm
The Long Firm
Crimson Petal and the White
Miss Marple
The Mayor of Casterbridge
Eric and Ernie
Monarch of the Glen
The Ruby in the Smoke
Fanny Hill
Mrs Bradley Mysteries
The Shadow in the North
Murphy's Law
The Sinking of the Laconia
Hamish Macbeth
New Tricks
Tipping the Velvet
Hold the Dream
North and South
To Be the Best
House of Cards
Pride and Prejudice
Wish Me Luck

Haven't I seen some of these dramas on TV Channel Yesterday before?
It's true. Some programmes slated to be on the new Drama channel have been on Yesterday (Freeview channel 19). Some of the drama content on Yesterday received good ratings, but some commentators thought Yesterday was diluting itself a bit by adding dramas set in the past in addition to the traditional documentaries aired on the channel.

Adrian Wills - the man responsible for Yesterday - will be in charge of the new channel. Speaking to Broadcast, he said: "Some of the highest-rated content on Yesterday was historical drama, so it seems an obvious chance for us to exploit more of that."

Which Freeview channel number will Drama be on?
updated 27/06/2013 
Drama's Freeview channel number has been confirmed as being channel 20, which is one of the channel numbers allocated to the UKTV family of channels - previously used for Gold - now moved to channel 26.

I don't get all Freeview channels where I live. Will I get Drama?
Drama will not be available if you receive the Freeview Basic line-up of channels.
If you receive the Freeview Standard channel line-up and can already receive Dave Ja Vu on channel 25 or QVC on channel 16, it is likely you will be able to receive Drama when it launches.

Will I need to retune when it launches?
updated 02/07/2013
Viewers are invited to retune from Thursday 4th July after midday, as changes are made to the Freeview line up, allowing Drama to put a placeholder on channel 20, ahead of the launch.
Some receivers will automatically amend the channel list, and some will do this overnight. Most modern (2012/13 models) Freeview HD TVs and receivers should do this automatically.

Will Drama be on satellite, cable or internet platforms (Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media, BT Vision)?
updated 12/08/2013
The channel is now available on Sky channel 166, having originally launched on channel 291 on the 8th July 2013.
Drama launches on Virgin Media channel 190 on 14th August 2013.
In line with other UKTV channels, Drama will not be on Freesat.

Will Drama be available in HD?
The service will not launch in HD on Freeview. There is no indication as to whether the channel will launch on an HD platform in the future.

Is Drama the same as UKTV Drama, the channel I used to have on Sky/Virgin?
UKTV Drama (the former UK Arena and UK Drama channel) became Alibi in 2008 and focused on crime dramas. The new Freeview channel does sound similar to the original UK(TV) Drama service, which aired on pay TV from 2000 to 2008, but with a wider range of programmes.

What will happen to Dave Ja Vu on Freeview?
updated 07/07/2013
Drama is using the bandwidth that Dave Ja Vu has been using on a temporary basis since January 2013. Dave Ja Vu will continue as a part-time service overnights on channel 25 when Drama is not being shown. This keeps channel 25 available for UKTV in the future to launch or reshuffle their channels.


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