Remembering UK Music Channels

But why bother with music channels now that you have Youtube or Vevo?

Adverts: Music channels do run adverts typically every 15 mins, however these are regulated by Ofcom and typically run at the same volume, a common issue I find with Youtube adverts is the volume isn’t standardized across videos or with other adverts, so when you do get an advert, its generally played out at a higher volume level, which I find infuriating.

I am aware that I could just install an adblock, however use of these is against the terms of service. Also the same can be said for music channels, i.e I could pre-record the program blocks on a PVR and then just skip forward through the adverts

Algorithm – It’s a mess when it comes to music and will often recommend or autoplay another song that has little to do with the previous song, Generally I prefer to listen to music in the same genre at the same time

On that note, why do TikTok compilations keep cropping up when I have never watched a TikTok video?

New music – YouTube rarely recommends me new music, instead it just autoplay’s me previous tracks that I’ve listened to, sometime offering new songs by an artist that I’ve listened to recently, but never a new artist or one that I have never listened to

Google – I want to reduce my reliance on BigTech companies

Copyright – another issue that crops up that people like to ignore, whilst lots of videos are provided by VEVO are generally safe from this, unofficial music video uploads by other users can be pulled anytime, and some may pull the video without offering  replacement upload.

Comments – I know I can just ignore them but occasionally you can find the odd good component. However most of the time it’s just some dead meme

Don’t get me wrong, our music channels aren’t perfect, especially in regards to how they handle 4:3 content in a 16:9 broadcast (They zoom in) and the bitrate and resolution they use could be higher, but they still offer benefits compared to online streaming services.

Channels closed in the digital era

VH1 (1994 – 2018)

A long running music channel that launched on Sky analogue in 1993, played contemporary music for adults, with occasionally American programs from the US version

PlayUK (1998 – 2002)

Part of the UKTV network, played both music videos and comedy shows.

MTV2 (1998 – 2010)

Launched as M2 initially, focused  on alternative non mainstream pop/rock, Ended up being quite different to tis US counterpart, eventually rebranded to MTV2

MTV Extra (1999 – 2001)

A sibling channel to MTV, which played music whilst regular programming was shown on MTV, replaced by MTV Hits in 2001

VH1 Classic (1999-

Similar to VH1 but played classic music from the 70s – 80s, replaced by MTV Classic (not sure what the difference VH1 to MTV makes?)

Q (2000 – 2012)

An indie focused music channel based in a similar style to its magazine counterpart. Initially used an SMS voting system

Smash Hits (2001-

General pop music channel that also played various genres, also used an SMS voting system during the early years.

MTV Dance (2001 – 2020)

Dance music channel by MTV, rebranded to clubMTV before being closed down for good

Chart Show TV (2002 – 2019)

Pop and chart music channel launched in 2002, initially known for it’s low budget song title graphics, the channel was treated to a rebrand in 2008, one of the well known FTA music channels back when the Bauer/EMAP and MTV channels were encrypted

The Hits (2002 – 2008)

Launched around the same year of Freeview, played the same music as Smash Hits & The Box with the SMS voting system. Replaced by 4Music in 2008

TMF (2002 – 2009)

The free to view version of MTV and MTV Hits, launched on Freeview in 2002 and later on Sky and cable. Shows on MTV would later be broadcast on TMF, alongside music videos, was replaced by VIVA in 2009

ClassicFM TV (2002 -2007)

A unique channel, played the same music as its radio counterpart, mainly remembered for its large and detailed song titles, that listed the composer, record label and artist album

P-Rock (2002 -2003)

A decent rock channel focused on upcoming rock artists, played a lot of Japanese rock projects like the mad capsule markets

Playlist of channel music

Channel U (2003 – 2009)

Urban and grime focused channel that also played underground HipHop with the occasional US track. Introduced me to the grime genre that was thriving at the time, mostly remember for its low budget videos and its occasional technical faults. Also home of the Boo Crew

Channel clip

The Amp (2003 – 2006)

Indie and alternative rock channel launched by Sky, replaced by Bliss in 2006

Scuzz (2003 – 2018)

A rock and metal themed music channel launched by BSkyB in 2003 before being sold to CSC Media, kept its branding and genre before its closure

Channel clips here

Flaunt (2003 – 2010)

A memorable music channel that played through all genres, originally launched in 2003 as a pop/dance channel, in 2006 it changed its identity to cater to an LGB audience, would later revert to a dance channel. Would occasionally play urban themed music videos until the launch of Flava. Relaunched as Dance Nation TV

Snapshot of channel – 2007

VH2 (2003 – 2006)

Played indie and alternative music, replaced by MTV Flux in 2006, apparently due to mobile advertising

The Vault (2003 – 2019)

Sister channel to chart show tv, played older music videos, similar to VH1 classic

Musicians Channel (2004 – 2006)

B4 (2004 – 2008)

Originally a channel that played newly released music, sometimes before its release date, also played alternative and independently released music, replaced by Flava in 2006

Fizz (2005 – 2009)

The pop version of Channel U, worked on a voting system where the viewer could vote for their song, mostly remember for the horrendous sidebar that displayed chat messages alongside the music video. Rebranded to Startz in 2009.


Bliss (2006 – 2015)

Replaced The Amp in 2006, played chilled and relax music videos along with power ballads.

MTV Flux (2006 – 2008)

Replaced VH2, was supposed to be a viral video with music video’s.

BubbleHits (2006 – 2009)

A pop music channel focused on having only 60 second adverts

Clips from the channel (2006 – 2010)

This was focused on indie and upcoming rock and alternative music acts, and rarely played videos, rather than to focus on live performances


oMusic (2007 – 2010)

Replaced ClassicFM TV, played the similar genre of music, focused more on chilled music.

FHM Music (2007)

Timeshared with Q

NMEtv (2007 – 2012)

Indie music channel similar to the magazine

Channel clip

Just Fabulous (2007)

Hip and RnB lifestyle channel

Brit Hits (2008)

This was supposed to be a music that focused on well known tracks from British artists, however it eventually turned into one of these physic channels before being rebranded and moved to another EPG slot, basically a filler channel for an EPG slot

Flava (2008 – 2017)

Replaced B4, played Hiphop, urban and RnB music.

Bedroom TV (2008)

A unique music channel where viewers would upload their own music videos mimed to actual music, video quality was mostly the same as MySpace video


VIVA (2009 – 2018)

Replacement for TMF, played both music videos and TV shows, typically older MTV shows such as Daria, Jackass and Cribs.

MTV Rocks (2010 – 2020)

Rock music channel, replaced MTV2, closed in 2020 due to mismanagement

Lava (2010 – 2011)

A rock themed music channel, that didn’t last long, replaced by Greatest Hits TV

Dance Nation TV (2010 – 2013)

A replacement for Flaunt, pretty much played the same dance music

Greatest Hits TV (2010 – 2013)

Vintage TV (2010 – 2018)

Played old music videos from the 60- 80s, and later the 90s

WTF (2011)

Weekly top forty, a chart music channel that operated on SMS voting

Massive RnB (2011 – 2013)

Capital TV (2012 – 2018)

Music channel that played contemporary pop and dance, like the radio station

Heart TV (2012 – 2018)

Music channel similar to the radio station, played older hits from the 80s to 90s

Buzmuzik (2012 – 2014)

CSC’s version of Starz/Fizz, displayed a sidebar showing tweets and texts from viewers.

Heat (2012 – 2016)

Pop and greatest hits music channel catered to a similar demographic to its magazine counterpart. Replaced by BoxUpfront.

Planet Pop (2013 – 2015)

Another pop music channel, replaced Massive RnB

Chilled TV (2015 – 2017)

Played soft music, later rebranded as Chilled90s

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