Logo used from 2015 onwards
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom and Ireland
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Timeshift serviceAlibi +1
OwnerBBC Studios
Sister channelsDave
Launched1 November 1997; 26 years ago (1 November 1997)
Former namesUK Arena (1997–2000)
UK Drama (2000–2004)
UKTV Drama (2004–2008)
Streaming media
Sky GoWatch live (UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV GoWatch live (UK only)
TalkTalk TVWatch live (UK only)
Watch live (UK only)
TVPlayerWatch live (UK only)

Alibi is a British pay television channel that was launched on 1 November 1997 as UK Arena. It was renamed UK Drama in 2000, and then UKTV Drama in 2004, and assumed its current name on 7 October 2008.


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). The channel aired as a part-time service, airing from 3:00pm every day.

However, following disappointing ratings, the channel's focus was broadened to include all drama series, and as a result was renamed UK Drama on 31 March 2000. However, the channel remained a part-time service, starting at 7:00pm.

On 5 November 2001, UK Drama began timesharing with a new sister channel, UK Food, which aired in UK Drama's daytime slot.[1]

On 10 January 2003, UK Food extended its broadcast hours while UK Drama reduced its broadcast hours to 9:00pm-5:00am.[2]

On 8 March 2004, the channel, alongside all other UKTV channels, was renamed UKTV Drama to increase awareness of the UKTV brand. On 1 July 2004, UKTV Food extended its broadcast hours, leading to UKTV Drama moving to UKTV Food +1's slot (which had been vacated by UKTV People), although still broadcasting the same hours as before.[3]

On 9 April 2005, UKTV announced that UKTV Drama would expand to a full 24-hour schedule on 30 May.[4] In order to prepare for the transition, the channel moved out of UKTV Food +1's downtime slot to a newly purchased space and started broadcasting from 1:00pm at the end of April, before the full transition to a 24-hour network.

On 2 May 2006, a one-hour timeshift service - UKTV Drama +1, launched on Sky in the vacated broadcast space formerly home to UKTV People +1. It broadcast from 3:00pm-2:00am every day.[5] Corresponding to the name on the main channel shows all programming from the channel one hour later, with no special idents or continuity used.

On 23 October 2007, UKTV Drama +1 was added to Virgin Media.[6]

Following the successful relaunch and rebranding of the channel UKTV G2 as Dave on 15 October 2007, the remaining UKTV channels underwent the same changes. UKTV Drama and UKTV Drama +1 were renamed as Alibi and Alibi +1, respectively, on 7 October 2008, and the channel's programmes were changed to focus specifically on crime dramas.[7][8] All non-crime dramas were transferred to the rebranded Gold channel or to the newly created flagship channel Watch.

On 29 July 2011, UKTV announced that it had secured a deal with BSkyB to launch three more high-definition channels on Sky.[9] 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.[10] 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.


The output of the channel is a combination of drama series and serials comprising first-run exclusive and second run shows from the United States and Canada, together with second run showings of shows from the BBC and ITV.

Original programming




Previously on Alibi

See also


  1. ^ "UKTV announces UK Food launch". Digital Spy. 11 July 2001.
  2. ^ "UK Food extends programming hours". Campaign.
  3. ^ "UKTV Food and UKTV People to be 24 Hours Before the End of the Year". Digital Spy. 22 June 2004.
  4. ^ "UKTV Drama to expand hours". Digital Spy. 9 April 2005.
  5. ^ "Three additions to Sky EPG". Digital Spy. 2 May 2006.
  6. ^ "UKTV Drama timeshift added to VM lineup". Digital Spy. 23 October 2007.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Curtis, Chris (17 September 2008). "UKTV to reveal eye-opening Watch logo". Broadcast. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  9. ^ "UKTV enters VoD market with landmark HD content deal with Sky". UKTV. 29 July 2011. Archived from the original on 7 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Virgin Media sells £239m stake in UKTV". Financial Times. 15 August 2011. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012.
  11. ^ White, Peter (1 May 2019). "Martin Compston, Laura Fraser, Molly Windsor & Jennifer Spence To Star in UKTV Crime Drama Traces". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Traces: From release date to cast - everything we know about Alibi's female-led crime thriller so far". BT Group. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  13. ^ a b Wiseman, Andreas; Kanter, Jake (28 September 2020). "Caravaggio's Shadow Underway in Naples; Curzon Picks Up Cannes Drama Il Mio Corpo; Traces & We Hunt Together Renewed – Euro Briefs". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  14. ^ "Alibi eyes new co-productions". C21Media. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  15. ^ Munn, Patrick (4 September 2020). "Alibi Sets UK Premiere Date For Evil". TVWise. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Castle". Alibi. UKTV. Retrieved 21 June 2013.