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Sky 2

Sky 2
Launched 9 December 2002
Owned by Sky plc
Picture format 576i (SDTV 16:9, 4:3)
Audience share 0.13% (September 2015 (2015-09), BARB)
Country United Kingdom, Ireland
Formerly called Sky One Mix (2002–2004)
Sky Mix (2004–2005)
Sky Two (2005–2008)
Sister channel(s) Challenge,
Real Lives,
Sky 1,
Sky Arts,
Sky Atlantic,
Sky Living,
Sky Movies,
Sky Movies Box Office,
Sky News,
Sky Sports,
Sky Sports F1,
Sky Sports News HQ
Sky Channel 129
Virgin Media Channel 121
Virgin Media Ireland Channel 115
WightFibre Channel 10
TalkTalk TV Channel 302
Streaming media
Virgin TV Anywhere Watch live (UK only)

Sky 2 is a British television channel originally launched in September 1996 and relaunched December 2002.


  • Original channel 1
  • Resurrection 2
  • Programming 3
  • Virgin Media dispute 4
  • Sky 1 timeshift experiment 5
  • Former logos 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Original channel

Sky 2
Launched 1 September 1996
Closed 31 August 1997
Owned by British Sky Broadcasting
Country United Kingdom, Ireland
Replaced by The National Geographic Channel
Sister channel(s) Sky 1
(at time of closure)
Sky Multichannels Astra 1E, 11.303H

Sky 2 was originally a television channel from British Sky Broadcasting, which launched on 1 September 1996 as a sister channel to Sky One, as part of a new bouquet of Sky channels including The Computer Channel and Sky Scottish. For an opening night it held an X-Files theme night. While the channel was still being broadcast, Sky One was branded as "Sky 1". Unlike the later Sky One spin-off, Sky One Mix, the channel showed exclusive first-run television shows rather than the same programming as its parent. Prominent shows on its schedule included Xena: Warrior Princess, Profit, TekWar and Melrose Place.

Sky used the launch of the channel and the rebrand of Sky 1 to introduce DOGs, on both channels.

While at some points the channel reached viewing figures nearly equal to that of its sister channel (such as for the initial episode of Xena: Warrior Princess), it was never very successful. It was eventually closed the following year along with Granada Talk TV following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.


Sky One Mix originally launched on 2 December 2002 as Sky One's sister channel. Sky One Mix was rebranded as Sky Mix in 2004. This branded-name was short lived, because in 2005, it was rebranded as Sky Two, effectively reviving the Sky 2 brand. It was rebranded as Sky 2 in 31 August 2008, when Sky's entertainment channels rebranded into the solids (used by Sky 1), liquids (used by Sky 2) and particles (used by the fallen Sky 3) theme.[1] On 1 February 2011, Sky refreshed the presentation on many of its channels. Sky 2's idents follow the same themes as Sky 1's new idents, but feature a smaller metal '2' icon, and the action is in close-up.


Sky 2 carries some programming from Sky Travel and Sky Vegas. Sky 2's programming mostly features sci-fi programming such as Futurama, the Stargate franchise and Star Trek: Enterprise. However, other Sky 1 drama shows such as Bones, documentary strands such as Road Wars, Street Wars, Hello Goodbye also form the Sky 2 schedule.

Like Sky 3 (now Pick), Sky 2 did not feature repeat episodes of The Simpsons, until recently [2] where it has started to air at 8pm daily.

Sky 2 is essentially a "catch-up" service for Sky's main entertainment channel Sky 1, broadcasting popular Sky 1 shows a few days after their original airing. Doing so, Sky 2 is described as a time shuffle channel, so called to distinguish it from timeshift channels, such as E4 +1 and Sky Living +1 which simply broadcasts E4 and Sky Living respectively, delayed by one hour. Sky currently broadcast a timeshifted version of one of their entertainment channels, Sky 3, (now Pick) which took over the Freeview EPG slot which Sky Sports News occupied. On 12 November 2012, Sky launched a 1-hour timeshift of Sky 1, however do not currently offer a timeshifted version of Sky 2.

Sky 2's programming showcases the best of Sky 1's content and a mix of sci-fi, action and factual programmes targeting young men.[3]

Shows Sky 2 used to air include Melrose Place, The Late Show with David Letterman and The X Files.[4]

Virgin Media dispute

On Thursday 1 March 2007, Virgin Media removed Sky's basic channels, including Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky News, Sky Sports News, Sky Travel and Sky Travel Extra, from their television services after a dispute between Virgin Media and BSkyB caused by the expiry of their carriage agreement and their inability to reach a new deal.[5] At midnight, Sky Two was removed, and the name of the station in the electronic programming guide was changed to "Old Sky Two Try Living" on the analogue cable service. On 13 November 2008, Sky 2 along with Sky 1, Sky News and Sky Sports News were returned to Virgin Media's television service along with four more Sky channels: Sky Arts 1, Sky Arts 2, Sky Real Lives and Sky Real Lives 2.

Sky 1 timeshift experiment

From 10 May 2010, Sky 2 carried an hour timeshift of programming on Sky 1.[6] Sky 2 will, however, remain a standalone offering. A Sky spokesperson said: "We are experimenting with different channel schedules to bring maximum value to our customers."

Particular programmes which weren't shown an hour later included the premier of Sky 1's Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, the station's latest adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. Also not seen on a timeshift basis was the final ever episode of Lost which was aired at 5am, as it was simultaneously being broadcast in the US. The last ever episodes of 24 (Sky showed it as a two-part finale) also weren't shown an hour later on Sky 2.

Terry Pratchett's Going Postal would be shown later in the week with both Lost and 24 being shown on Sky 2 after the final credits rolled on Sky 1. Again, alternative programmes filled the gaps.

The trial concluded on 9 August 2010, with the channel reverting to its previous scheduling pattern.

Former logos


  1. ^ Sweney, Mark. "David Boreanaz stars in Sky ident as channels given new look",, 6 August 2008
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Sky1 Sky2 Sky3", retrieved 31 March 2010.
  4. ^ |title=That's entertainment, now on Sky 2|url=|website=The Independent|
  5. ^ "Sky One, Sky News pulled from Virgin".  
  6. ^ "'"Sky2 to 'remain a separate channel.  

External links

  • TV Listings at
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