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Alibi (TV channel)

"UKTV Drama" redirects here. For the current channel, see Drama (TV channel).
Launched 1 November 1997
Owned by UKTV
(BBC Worldwide/Scripps Networks Interactive)
Picture format 576i (16:9 and 4:3) (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.32%
0.09% (+1) (April 2015 (2015-04), BARB)
Slogan "The Deadliest Place on TV"
Country United Kingdom
Formerly called UK Arena (1997–2000)
UK Drama (2000–2004)
UKTV Drama (2004–2008)
Sister channel(s) Dave
Good Food
Timeshift service Alibi +1
Sky Channel 132 (SD/HD)
Channel 226 (+1)
Channel 247 (SD)
Virgin Media Channel 130
Channel 131 (+1)
Channel 200 (HD)
Smallworld Cable Channel 130
Channel 131 (+1)
Channel 200 (HD)
UPC Ireland Channel 151
WightFibre Channel 70
BT Channel 409
TalkTalk Plus TV Channel 409
Streaming media
Sky Go Watch live (UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV Anywhere Watch live (UK only)

Alibi is a digital television channel broadcasting in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as part of the UKTV network of channels. The channel launched on 1 November 1997 and relaunched in its current format on 7 October 2008. The channel is available on satellite through Sky, on cable, primarily through Virgin Media and on IPTV through BT TV and TalkTalk Plus TV.[1]


The channel originally launched as part of the new four channel UKTV network on 1 November 1997. The channel, originally named UK Arena, focused on arts programming and was named after the BBC's flagship arts programme Arena (The BBC, through BBC Worldwide, owning half of UKTV and therefore half the channel). However, following disappointing original ratings, the channel's focus was broadened to include all drama series, and was renamed UK Drama as a result on 31 March 2000. The service lasted, with greater viewing figures until 8 March 2004 when, along with the rest of the UKTV network, rebranded as UKTV Drama to better show the central UKTV brand.

Following the successful relaunch and rebranding of the channel UKTV G2 as Dave, the remainder of the UKTV network underwent the same treatment. UKTV Drama was rebranded as Alibi on 7 October 2008, and the channels programming output was redirected from all dramas, to specifically crime dramas.[2][3] All non-crime dramas were either transferred to the rebranded Gold channel, or to the newly created flagship channel Watch.


The time shift service Alibi +1 was originally launched on 2 May 2006 as UKTV Drama +1, using the frequency previously occupied by UKTV People +1. It features the channels schedule broadcast an hour later, with no special idents or continuity used.

Alibi HD

On 29 July 2011, UKTV announced that it had secured a deal with BSkyB to launch three more high-definition channels on Sky.[4] As part of Virgin Media's deal to sell its share of UKTV, all five of UKTV's HD channels would also be added to Virgin's cable television service by 2012.[5] Alibi HD launched on 3 July 2012 on Sky and Virgin Media, while Dave HD and Watch HD launched in October 2011. All three channels are HD simulcasts of the standard-definition channels.


When the channel launched in 1997, the idents used featured a star shape, usually inside a circle, with the UK Arena logo below. The logo, like that of all the UKTV channels until 2001, featured a single straight line logo with the UK prefix in a white box and the channel name typed in Gill Sans above a line extending out from the box. When the channel changed to UK Drama in 2000, the idents remained the same, with a change of logo the only noticeable difference.

The next change occurred in 2002, when the logo design was dropped in favour of a new design. The new design resulted in the UK Drama logo standing alone at the bottom of the screen in a blod text, stylised to appear like UK Drama. On the end of the logo, a small design was included. One was assigned to each channel, with the exception of UK Gold and UK Gold 2, to identify what the channel broadcast. In the case of UK Drama, it was a bold, eight pointed star within a circle. The idents themselves were replaced by three men beating drums with water on the surface, so that water flew up whenever a man beat the drum. Each man was bathed in a particular colour light: red, blue and green.

Following the name change to UKTV Drama, the generic style was changed. The logo was now an uppercase 'DRAMA' below a UKTV logo, aligned to the left of the screen. The ident used in the background featured a giant glass appearing 'D', moving around in the background. the stations colour at the time was purple, and many of the channels promotions, on the channel and on the rest of the UKTV network featured this background colour.

Following the rebrand to Alibi, the channels idents featured the words associated with crime and murder arranged into different shapes, including the outline of a dead body, a gunshot shattering a pane of glass, the dials of a safe and the beam from a torch illuminating the words. These are accompanied by the alibi logo, seen with interchangeable colours of white, black and red.


The output of the channel is mainly drama series and serials from the BBC archive but also has ITV series and some exclusive shows from US and Canadian networks.




See also


  1. ^ "UKTV agrees on-demand, channels deal with BT Vision". Digital Spy. 22 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Donnelly, Alison (17 September 2008). "UKTV unveils new channels and familiar stars like John Cleese and Red Dwarf crew". Brand Republic. Archived from the original on 20 September 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2008. 
  3. ^ Curtis, Chris (17 September 2008). "UKTV to reveal eye-opening Watch logo". Broadcast Now. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2008. 
  4. ^ "UKTV enters VoD market with landmark HD content deal with Sky". UKTV. 29 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Virgin Media sells £239m stake in UKTV". Financial Times. 15 August 2011. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Castle". Alibi. UKTV. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Alibi eyes new co-productions". C21Media. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 

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