|Broadcast area||United Kingdom and Ireland|
|Picture format||16:9 576i SDTV|
|Timeshift service||Yesterday +1|
|Launched||30 October 2002|
|Former names||UK History (2002–04)|
UKTV History (2004–09)
Channel 75 (+1)
Yesterday is a British free-to-air history-oriented television channel broadcasting in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It launched on 30 October 2002 as UK History and relaunched in its current format on 2 March 2009. It is available on satellite through Sky, Freesat and through the digital terrestrial provider Freeview. Hours on Freeview had previously been cut, with transmissions finishing at 6 pm, but were restored on 1 June 2010.
The channel originally launched on 30 October 2002 as UK History, a channel for the network's historic documentaries. These were previously found on the channel UK Horizons; however, the launch of UK History allowed the channel to broadcast more programmes in their schedule. The majority of programming on the channel is sourced from the BBC programme archive, through the ownership of the channel by BBC Studios. The launch of the channel also coincided with the launch of the new digital terrestrial provider Freeview, following the collapse of the former provider ITV Digital. The service remained unchanged until 8 March 2004, when the channel changed its name in line with the rest of the UKTV network to UKTV History.
The channel was available full-time on all platforms until 15 October 2007 when the hours were reduced on the Freeview platform, resulting in the channel stopping broadcasting at 6 pm each day. This was a result of the launch of Dave, which took over UKTV History broadcast capacity. UKTV History took over the slot used by the unsuccessful UKTV Bright Ideas that was sharing a slot with Virgin1 and Babestation. The channel's inability to broadcast in prime time on Freeview resulted in a ratings drop. In November 2007, the channel had a 0.3 percent share of all television viewing, compared to 0.5 percent a year earlier. This restriction remained until 1 June 2010, when broadcast time was extended until 1 am each day, following the closure of the Virgin1 +1 channel on Freeview. As a result, the channel can now broadcast fully from 6 am to 1 am daily.
At launch, the channel was originally on channel 12 on Freeview, but moved to channel 19 on 19 September 2012, swapping with sister channel Dave. On 10 June 2019, Yesterday moved to channel 25 on Freeview, a space previously occupied by its former sister channel Home, which Discovery, Inc. acquired along with Good Food and Really as part of a deal with its current owner BBC Studios. On 4 November 2020, the channel moved to channel 26 as part of a move up where every channel from channel 24 to 54 on the platform moved up one place to allow BBC Four to move to channel 24 in Scotland due to new Ofcom rules regarding certain PSB channels requiring greater prominence on EPGs.
As part of a network wide programme of relaunching all the UKTV channels under unique names and brands, the channel was renamed as Yesterday on 2 March 2009. The new channel also took on extra programming including fictional historic series and programmes previously broadcast on UKTV Documentary concerning the natural history of the British Isles.
Since 24 July 2012, Yesterday offers more entertainment-led content along with a design refresh, which includes a new logo and idents, in order to attract a wider and younger audience, along with a new slogan, "Entertainment Inspired By History". For example, the channel has broadcast more repeats of situation comedies, such as Last of the Summer Wine or Butterflies.
In late 2014, Yesterday began slowly decreasing the amount of comedy and drama shown on the channel and branching out into more factual content, with notable additions including natural history, science and engineering alongside the classic slate of history programming.
On 8 December 2015 Yesterday became available on Freesat together with two of its UKTV sister channels Drama and former sister channel, Really.
The channel also operates a time shift channel called Yesterday +1 (which was previously called UKTV History +1 before UKTV rebranded their channels), that is available on Sky, Virgin Media, and Freeview. The channel broadcasts the Yesterday schedule one hour later than the main channel, but contains no special programming or branding, with the occasional exception of a different DOG. Yesterday +1 launched on Freeview channel 99 on 22 November 2018 but was removed on 16 January 2019. It returned on Freeview on channel 75 on 15 April 2020, with the channel moving up one slot, next to UKTV's newly acquired sister channel CCXTV, on 7 December 2020 (though channel 74 is only currently used for two hours of teleshopping a night rather than broadcasting any of Yesterday's programmes).
The majority of the channel's programmes are sourced from the BBC programme archives; however, some are bought in from other terrestrial stations and some productions are commissioned by UKTV themselves. Programmes previously shown on terrestrial channels like BBC One, Two and Four are usually edited for timing, to accommodate the current three commercial breaks within each hour-long programme. The most obvious example of this is for programmes originally broadcast on the BBC, as material lasting 58 minutes will be edited down to 42 minutes when shown on Yesterday. Some of Yesterday's notable programmes include: