W is a British free-to-air television channel owned by BBC Studios. It originally launched on 7 October 2008 as Watch and until 2022 was a pay television channel. On 15 February 2016, the channel was rebranded as W. The channel currently broadcasts crimes, dramas, game shows and documentaries.


The channel launched on 7 October 2008 as the new flagship channel for the UKTV network of channels. On Sky, it took over capacity previously used for UKTV Style +2, which had closed on 15 September 2008 in preparation for the launch. The channel would feature general entertainment programmes, primarily from the programme archive of the BBC, who owned a 50% share of the network through the corporation's commercial arm BBC Worldwide.

The channel featured flagship programmes from the BBC, such as Torchwood, general entertainment programmes from the corporation and international versions of popular current British programming, such as Dancing with the Stars (the US version of Strictly Come Dancing) and the various American editions of Wipeout, which is titled as Total Wipeout USA to avert confusion with the British programme of the same name. The channel also featured programmes displaced following the repositioning of other UKTV channels, such as the move of all non-crime drama to the channel following Alibi's launch, and programming already shown on other UKTV channels in greater numbers, such as Traffic Cops. The W Channel controller is currently Paul Moreton.

The channel went free on satellite on 21 March 2022, ahead of a full relaunch of W as a free channel on both Freeview and Freesat on a week later on 28 March, with a revised onscreen identity. To make way for the addition of W, Dave ja vu moved to the position previously occupied by Drama +1, which had been added to the Freeview lineup following UKTV's purchase and closure of CCXTV. Drama +1 wasn't replaced on Freeview in the sense of leaving the platform instead it moved to Freeview channel 60 which was previously occupied by ITV4 +1.


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BBC Studios
BBC Studios is a British content company. It is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC that was formed in April 2018 through the merger of the BBC's commercial production arm and the BBC's


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Alena Potapova

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