|Picture format||576i SDTV|
|Timeshift service||Pop +1|
|Owner||CSC Media Group (2003-2014)|
Sony Pictures Entertainment (2014-2021)
Narrative Entertainment UK Limited (2021-present)
|Sister channels||Pop Max|
Great! Movies Action
Great! Movies Classic
|Launched||29 May 2003|
|Former names||Toons & Tunes (2003)|
Channel 208 (Pop Player)
|Virgin TV Anywhere||Watch live (UK only)|
Pop (stylised and often referred to as POP) is a British free-to-air children's television channel owned by Narrative Entertainment UK Limited. Its target audience is 6 to 10-year old children.
Pop was originally launched on 29 May 2003 by CSC Media Group (at the time called Chart Show Channels) as Toons & Tunes. Toons & Tunes was then later rebranded as Pop following its test transmissions.
In Pop's early years, links were presented by Rorry, a lime green dragon with a Scottish accent, who was animated live. He was accompanied by Purrdy, a dragon/cat hybrid who also appeared in the original Tricky programme on ITV, it was sometimes followed by a programme known as "The Cheeky Monkey Show" which features the live links of the animated coloured monkeys known as "The Cheeky Monkeys," that was later known by appearing on its sister channel Tiny Pop until its retirement at the end of June 2009.
Originally, the network focused on music videos, with animated programming also part of the schedule, but with the numerous music video network options on British television at the time, this focus was quickly abandoned in 2004, when the animated content became much more prominent. Music videos continued to be carried on and off until 2010, before eventually being abandoned entirely.
In September 1, 2020, Pop changed its on-air identity, with Bakugan: Armored Alliance premiering. And on the same day, the network became the new British home of the Pokémon anime, moving its previous broadcasters ITV and CITV, starting with Pokémon Journeys: The Series.
On November 9, 2022, Narrative Entertainment UK Limited announced the launch of a new FAST channel, Pop Kids, to stream on Samsung TV Plus, the new FAST network airs shows from Pop and Tiny Pop.
On 24 May 2007, Pop moved from 619 to 616 on Sky.
On 19 May 2008, Pop +1 removed from 627 on Sky.
On 14 July 2014, Pop +1 launched from 629 on Sky.
On 01 October 2015, Pop +1 moved from 629 to 626 on Sky.
As part of Sky's major EPG reshuffle on 1 May 2018, Pop +1 moved from channel 626 to 625 (due to Pop not moving from channel 616).
On 11 January 2021, Pop moved from 616 to 614 on Sky, Nickelodeon +1 moved from 620 to 616 on Sky.
On 11 January 2021, Pop +1 moved from 625 to 619 on Sky, Nick Jr. HD from 631 (HD)/648 (SD) to 625 (HD)/648 (SD) on Sky (Ireland).
The channel sources its programming from multiple independent studios.
On 20 March 2014, Pop was launched on Freeview. Prior to April 2016, Pop was only available in areas where there is a local TV channel. On 1 April 2016, Pop moved to a wider coverage nationwide freeview mix, becoming available to over 90% of the country. The capacity vacated by Pop on the local multiplex was used to transmit Kix from 7 April 2016. Pop +1 moved to LCN channel 128, to release 127 for use by Kix, but was otherwise unaffected, continuing to broadcast locally to Manchester only.
Pop programming in addition to content from sister channels Pop Max and Tiny Pop are available to stream on demand from the free TV service and mobile app Pop Playerand since May 2022, available on Freeview Channel 208.
A time shift feed called Pop +1 was available until 2008, when it was replaced by Kix!; in turn, that network's +1 feed was discontinued on 14 July 2014 with Pop +1's return.
A FAST channel launched on Samsung TV Plus in November 2022. It shows a list of programs from across the POP channels.
On 4 May 2017, Sony Pictures Television Networks launched an Italian version of Pop as their first Italian free-to-air offering, with a similar line-up of programming to the UK channel. The network closed alongside its sister channel Cine Sony on 11 July 2019, after Mediaset purchased both network slots from Sony. Pop's old slot would be used for Boing Plus.
The Pakistani version of Pop is operated by Edutainment (Pty.) Ltd. under the license of Sony Pictures Television.
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