Now (British TV channel)

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Now channel.svg
Logo of "Now"
Launched27 March 1990
Closed1 December 1990
(Replaced by Sky News and Sky Arts)
Owned byBSB (Later Sky plc)
SloganThe Channel for Living
Sister channel(s)The Movie Channel
The Sports Channel
The Power Station
The Computer Channel
at time of closure
AnalogueMarcopolo 1 11.93846

Now was a British television channel transmitted as part of the British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) service during 1990.


The first Now logo from 1986

The Now channel was originally designed to be a live 24 hours news channel similar to CNN and Sky News, with most of the content provided by ITN.[1] Between the award of the franchise and the launch the channel, ITN quitted its involvement with BSB after failing to agree with the latter on how to provide its news service[2], and the Now channel's remit was changed to have lifestyle programmes in the day and current affairs shows in the evenings, and arts programmes at weekends. The channel was promoted under the slogan "The Channel For Living". Now was broadcast throughout BSB's short spell on air from March to December 1990 on the Marcopolo satellites.

In November 1990, BSB merged with Sky to form British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB). BSkyB decided to streamline the channels available on both services. Now was replaced with Sky News, which Sky Television had broadcast on the Astra 1A satellite.

Now ceased broadcasting on Saturday 1 December 1990 at 1am. The ending of Now faded into the clock of Sky News, and the newsreader welcomed those watching on the Marcopolo satellite. As there were still programmes yet to be shown on Now, BSkyB initially broadcast Arts programmes intended for "Now" on weekends, as Sky Arts opted out of the Sky News service on the Marcopolo satellite. Once all shows were broadcast, Sky Arts closed, and Sky News was broadcast.


Now featured a mix of talk and chat shows, documentaries, news, current affairs and arts programming. As with all of BSB's other channels, Now carried the compulsory BSB News segment. One of Now's most memorable programmes was "Now Sir Robin" fronted by ex-Question Time presenter Sir Robin Day. The programme covered the week's political happenings and confrontations. Now broadcast a number of theatre and classical music performances during its short period on-air. Arts programming featured on most nights.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Peter Chippindale, Suzanne Franks and Roma Felstein, Dished!: Rise and Fall of British Satellite Broadcasting (London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 1991)

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