BBC Two is a British free-to-air television network owned and operated by the BBC. It covers a wide range of subject matter, with a remit "to broadcast programmes of depth and substance" in contrast to the more mainstream and popular BBC One.
|Broadcast area||Nationwide. Also widely available in Belgium, Ireland, Switzerland and the Netherlands.|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Sister channels||BBC One|
|Launched||21 April 1964|
|Former names||BBC2 (21 April 1964 – 4 October 1997)|
|Channel 20 (HD)|
|Virgin Media (UK)|
|Virgin Media (Ireland)|
|Astra 2E (28.2°E)|
|Eir TV (Ireland)|
|Vodafone TV (Ireland)|
|BBC iPlayer||Watch live (UK only)|
|Virgin TV Anywhere||Watch live – SD HD (Ireland only)|
|UPC TV||Watch live (Switzerland only)|
Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio channels, it is funded by the television licence, and is therefore free of commercial advertising. It is a comparatively well-funded public-service network, regularly attaining a much higher audience share than most public-service networks worldwide.
Originally styled BBC2, it was the third British television station to be launched (starting on 21 April 1964), and from 1 July 1967, Europe's first television channel to broadcast regularly in colour. It was envisaged as a home for less mainstream and more ambitious programming, and while this tendency has continued to date, most special-interest programmes of a kind previously broadcast on BBC Two, for example the BBC Proms, now tend to appear on BBC Four instead.