History (European TV channel)

History (formerly known as History Channel UK) is a European television channel which broadcasts programs related to historical events and persons. It is owned by a joint venture of A&E Networks, owner of the American History, and Sky (the UK's largest pay-TV provider). TVT Media is responsible for signal distribution in Europe, with local subsidiaries of A&E Networks as distribution representatives on the continent.[3][4] Its programming, primarily in English, is subtitled or dubbed into regional languages. The channel is available through a number of satellite, cable, terrestrial and IPTV distributors across Europe, the Middle East and South Africa. In some countries, advertisements and announcements between programs are localized.

Launched11 November 1995 (1995-11-11)
Owned byA+E Networks UK (A&E Networks/Sky)
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Audience share
  • Netherlands: 0.3% (2018)[1]
  • UK: 0.18% (January 2019)[2]
SloganMade Every Day
Broadcast areaArab world, Balkans, Benelux, Central Europe & Eastern Europe, France, Iberian Peninsula, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Scandinavia, South Africa, United Kingdom
Formerly calledThe History Channel (1995–2008)
Sister channel(s)
Timeshift serviceHistory +1
Sky (UK & Ireland)
  • Channel 130 (SD/HD)
  • Channel 230 (+1)
  • Channel 825 (SD)
  • On Demand
NOVA Greece (Greece)Channel 404
Canal Digitaal (Netherlands)Channel 49 (SD)
Sky Deutschland
  • Channel 407 (HD)
  • Channel 427
Canal+ (Spain)Channel 35
Sky Italia
  • Channel 407 (SD/HD)
  • Channel 408 (+1)
  • Channel 188 (SD/HD)
  • Channel 386
DStv (South Africa)Channel 186
OSN (MENA)Channel 508 (HD)
Joyne (Netherlands)Channel 33 (HD)
Virgin Media (UK)
  • Channel 270 (HD)
  • Channel 271 (+1)
  • On Demand (including HD)
Virgin Media Ireland
  • Channel 217
  • Channel 220 (HD)
WightFibre (UK)Channel 82
Ziggo (Netherlands)Channel 28 (HD)
Channel 947 (SD)
Caiway (Netherlands)Channel 46
DELTA (Netherlands)Channel 26 (HD)
Kabel Noord (Netherlands)Channel 258 (HD)
Primacom (Germany)Channel 112
UPC Cablecom (Switzerland)
  • Channel 102 (HD)
  • Channel 103
UPC AustriaChannel 531
ONO (Spain)Channel 91
R (Spain)Channel 53
TeleCable (Spain)Channel 22
Euskaltel (Spain)Channel 55
NOS (Portugal)Channel 112
Cabovisão (Portugal)Channel 24
UPC RomaniaChannel 312 (SD), Channel 180 (HD)
  • Channel 327
  • Channel 379 (HD)
KPN (Netherlands)Channel 32 (HD)
Movistar TV (Spain)Channel 84
MEO (Portugal)Channel 123
Optimus Clix (Portugal)Channel 134
TalkTalk TV (UK)Channel 327
Plusnet (UK)
  • Channel 327
  • Channel 379 (HD)
T-Mobile (Netherlands)Channel 91 (HD)
eir Vision (Ireland)
  • Channel 529
  • Channel 545 (HD)
Tele2 (Netherlands)Channel 35 (HD)
Streaming media
TVPlayerWatch live (UK only) (TVPlayer Plus subscription required)
Sky GoSky (UK & Ireland only)
Virgin TV AnywhereVirgin Media (UK only)
Ziggo GO (Netherlands)ZiggoGO.tv (Europe only)
Horizon GOhorizon.tv (Ireland only)

On 6 November 2018, in the wake of the Disney-Fox merger, the European Commission required The Walt Disney Company to sell A&E's European channels, including History.[5]

History has separate versions for Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal:

  • History Germany: Operated by A&E Networks Germany.
  • History Italy: Formerly a joint venture of A&E Networks and Fox International Channels Italy, it became a sole venture of A&E Networks in 2012.
  • History Netherlands, airing in the Netherlands and Flanders. Operated by A&E Networks Benelux. RTL Nederland became responsible for advertising sales on 1 January 2016.[6]
  • Canal de História (also known as História): The History Channel Iberia joint venture of A&E Networks and AMC Networks International Southern Europe.


History Channel UK began on 11 November 1995 as a weekday three-hour block (4 to 7 pm), consisting of Biography (restyled for a British audience), History Alive and Our Century. The channel was A&E's first international venture.[7]

Sky Sports 2 began broadcasting all day in 1997, requiring other networks to move to another channel. The History Channel shared transponder 24 with Sky Soap and the Sci-Fi Channel.[8] The launch of Sky Digital allowed the channel to significantly increase its broadcast hours.

The History Channel began in Scandinavia in September 1997, broadcasting for three hours daily on the analogue Viasat platform. Initially time-sharing with TV1000 Cinema, it was later moved to the Swedish TV8 channel until November 2004 (when Viasat launched Viasat History).

History Channel launched in the Netherlands and Flanders on 1 May 2007.[9][10]

On 26 October 2006, History Channel HD launched in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The HD version was launching across Europe from October 2007,[11] beginning in the Nordic region on 13 December 2007, offering a schedule separate from the standard-definition version.[12] In January 2008, History Channel HD launched in the Netherlands.[13] In November 2008 the History Channel was re-branded as History,[14][15] and the high-definition channel became History HD.

The company behind the channel was known as The History Channel (UK) Limited until July 2009, when it was renamed AETN UK to reflect the company's several channels.[16] On 22 September 2011, AETN UK was re-branded A&E Networks UK.[17] The channel launched on British Telecom on 15 August 2013, and on TalkTalk on 28 August 2014.

A&E Networks UK operations

Since the introduction of History, the company has extended its line-up:

  • Bio., from October 2000 to 4 November 2013
  • Crime & Investigation on 10 July 2006
  • Crime & Investigation Network Africa on 26 February 2007
  • History HD on 26 October 2006
  • History Africa on 1 December 2003
  • Military History, from 28 July 2008 to 4 May 2013
  • H2 on 4 May 2013 (replacing Military History)
  • Lifetime on 4 November 2013 (replacing Bio.)
  • Lifetime Africa on 22 July 2014
  • Blaze on 20 September 2016

History Germany

In German-speaking countries, History is operated by History Channel Germany, which was a joint venture of A&E Networks and NBC Universal Global Networks Germany. The channel began as the History Channel on 15 November 2004, and changed its name to History on 11 January 2009.[18] Since 1 June 2017 the channel is fully owned by A&E Networks Germany.[19]

History is available on the Kabel Deutschland, Kabel BW-Unitymedia, Primacom and KabelKiosk cable networks in all German states, and is also available on cable in Austria and Switzerland. Although the channel was available on satellite on Arena, it was not available on Premiere until the latter was renamed Sky on 4 July 2009. At that time, History HD (a high-definition version of the channel) was introduced. The channel hosts the annual History Award, which has been given since 2005.

History Channel Iberia (Spain and Portugal)

Since 1996, History has been distributed under the name Canal de Historia—and, more recently, História—in Spain and Portugal by AMC Networks International Southern Europe in a joint venture with A&E Networks[20] (owner of History). The channel has Spanish and Portuguese feeds with dubbed English programs and locally produced programming.

História is available in Spain on Movistar+, cable networks (Telecable, R, Euskaltel), IPTV providers (Vodafone, Orange TV) and streaming media (TotalChannel).[21] Historia HD became available in Spain on 3 November 2015.[22] In Portugal, História is available through cable providers (NOS, Cabovisão) and IPTV (MEO, Vodafone).[23]

Spanish locally-produced programming

  • Arqueólogo por un día (2015), where a local celebrity spends a day working with archaeologists on an excavation
  • La última cena (2014–2015)

Portuguese local-history programming


  1. "Jaarrapport 2018" (PDF). SKO.
  2. "Monthly viewing summary". BARB. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  3. "History Channel UK Appoints Chello Zone As Distribution Representative". 4rfv.co.uk. 6 February 2008.
  4. TVT Media clients
  5. Roxborough, Scott (6 November 2018). "Disney's Fox Deal Gets European Union Clearance Subject to Divestments". The Hollywood Reporter.
  6. Robert Briel (3 December 2015). "RTL Netherlands to handle A+E ad sales". BroadbandTVNews.com.
  7. "A & E Television Networks History". International Directory of Company Histories. 32. St. James Press. 2000. Retrieved 4 December 2013 via Funding Universe.com.
  8. "Report from the Sat-UK mailing list: Report #98".
  9. Robert Briel (5 April 2007). "History Channel komt naar de Benelux". Broadband TV News.
  10. Robert Briel (5 April 2007). "UPC digital met vier nieuwe kanalen". Broadband TV News.
  11. Jarco Kriek (17 October 2007). "A&E Television Network breidt uit in Europa". Totaal TV.
  12. "THE HISTORY CHANNEL HD TO LAUNCH IN SCANDINAVIA" (Press release). AETN International. 8 October 2007. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012.
  13. Robert Briel (14 November 2007). "History Channel HD to launch in Holland". Broadband TV News.
  14. "History Channel rebranded 'History'". Digital Spy. 19 November 2008.
  15. Jan-Hein Visser (19 December 2008). "History Channel heet nu History". Totaal TV.
  16. "The History Channel UK Changes Name to AETN UK". AETN International. 2 July 2009. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011.
  17. "AETN UK rebrands as A+E Networks UK". Broadband TV News. 22 September 2011.
  18. "The History Channel ab Januar in neuem Gewand". Digital Fernsehen. 19 December 2008.
  19. "A+E Buys Out NBCUniversal From Its German Channels". Variety.com. 1 June 2017.
  20. "The History Channel Iberia". Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  21. "Historia: Dónde vernos". Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  22. "Historia: Historia HD". Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  23. "Canal História: Dónde vernos". Retrieved 10 November 2015.
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