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Newly rebranded UKTV channel to take EastEnders reruns from BBC Three

Same-day repeats of EastEnders on TV will go behind a paywall following the closure of BBC Three TV, with newly re-branded UKTV channel 'W' taking over the rights from mid-February.

W, which will become the latest incarnation of pay TV channel Watch, will also reinstate the EastEnders Omnibus, which was dropped by the BBC after initially moving from Sunday afternoons to Friday nights, although non-pay TV viewers can still catch-up on EastEnders after its BBC One outing via the BBC iPlayer.

Channel with an identity crisis
Since it launched eight years ago, Watch has struggled to find its identity. It famously launched with Richard and Judy's New Position, which was soon ditched amidst low ratings. Watch has since then undergone a number of re-brands and logo changes (pictured below), which has seen the programme emphasis change repeatedly. Now, UKTV says the new "W" will target 30-39 year old women and go head-to-head with rivals TLC and ITVBe, after the broadcaster said it had identified a "demographic growth area."

UKTV controller Emma Tennant said
“W will be a premium channel for smart women and men seeking high-quality escapism.”

The channel has had quite an identity crisis since it launched in 2008
Other shows to appear on "W" include a spin-off from BBC Three's The Call Centre: Nev’s Indian Call Centre and new factual entertainment shows Get Me to the Church and Honey I Bought the House, plus On, a documentary series featuring films by the radio DJ Sara Cox, the musician Sophie Ellis-Bextor and the journalist Grace Dent.

"W" will be available to viewers with Sky (channel 109), Virgin (channel 124), BT, TalkTalk (channel 407) and TVPlayer Plus from 15th February 2016.

UKTV is jointly owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and Scripps Networks.