The Box (UK and Irish TV channel)
The Box is a television channel in the United Kingdom and Ireland, owned by The Box Plus Network. Originally based on the U.S broadcast network of the same name, The Box primarily broadcasts music videos and features other music-related programming from across The Box Plus Network.
|Launched||25 April 1992|
|Owned by||The Box Plus Network|
(Channel Four Television Corporation)
|Picture format||576i (16:9 SDTV)|
|Audience share||0.02% (September 2018BARB),|
|Sky (UK only)||Channel 359|
|Astra 2F||11626 V 22000 5/6|
|Virgin Media (UK)||Channel 335|
|Virgin Media (Ireland)||Channel 710|
|The Box Plus Network||Watch live|
|Virgin TV Anywhere||Watch live (UK only)|
Watch live (Ireland only)
The Box was brought to the United Kingdom by Vincent Monsey (of Radio Caroline fame) and his partner Liz Laskowski, who discovered the U.S channel in Miami in 1991, when it was then known as The Jukebox Network. The UK company, Video Jukebox Network International Limited, was formed in 1991 and The Box was launched the following year in April 1992 during the early days of cable television. The Box was carried by four operators United Artists, Telewest in London and Bristol, Nynex in the south of England, and Videotron, which is also based in London.
Over the next few years, The Box was rolled out on a regional basis across all of the United Kingdom's cable system available and, eventually, onto Sky Digital in 1998. The Box was also broadcast on the Astra Satellite between 2 am and 6 am during the downtime of Granada Plus and Men & Motors. From 1999, all the regional versions of The Box were shut down and replaced with a single UK version.
Ticketmaster Inc. briefly owned 50% of the company (Box Television Ltd) before becoming a public company on the FTSE. EMAP took ownership of these shares in 1997, and purchased the shareholding held by the American company VJN Inc, which had then become TCI Music and then Liberty Digital. The US version of the channel was sold to MTVN in 2000. EMAP retained ownership, receiving profits made from music video selections, which are made by the viewers using premium rate phone lines, as well as the small fees from BSkyB for being an encrypted channel. Each week, a new playlist would be released and would generally contain new or current music videos. In its early years, the playlist was published on teletext and the channel's website. Today, the playlist is now programmed in the 'Up Next' section on-screen. In 2007, Channel Four Television Corporation acquired 50% of Box Television and in 2019 took full ownership of the company, now known as The Box Plus Network.
On 2 April 2013, all Box Television channels went free-to-air on satellite, apart from 4Music which went free-to-view. As a result, the channels were removed from the Sky EPG in Ireland. The Box was added to the Freesat EPG on 15 April 2013, alongside three other Box Television channels.
The channel is well known for its "First Play" feature, where many videos often make their UK or world premiere. This new music is often shown through the "Box Fresh" show. Most notably, The Box were recognized for the particular force behind the huge success of the first Spice Girls hit "Wannabe", playing their first single months before its official release date. Before Emap took ownership within Box Television, the channel was recognized for the wide variety of music from all genres, offering up to 500 videos per week as well as for helping to introduce rap and hip hop music onto the UK music scene.
The slogan of The Box is "Fresh Music First". Previous mottos include "Big Hits First", "Music Television You Control", and "Smash Hits You Control".
Notably, for a brief period in late 1999 and early 2000, there was a trend of artists name checking The Box in their music videos, though the practice wasn't widespread. In most cases, this was simply an insertion of the logo at some point in the regular video, however in a few cases, the channel was actually name checked by the artists themselves. The most notable example of this is the video for the S Club 7 song "S Club Party", which also had an extended opening and closing not seen on other music channels.
As with all Box Television channels, The Box now operates from a pre-programmed playlist and does not include video selection jukeboxes. In July 2007, 50% of Box Television was sold to Channel Four Television Corporation, before EMAP's remaining 50% in the company was sold to Bauer Media Group in January 2008.
On 28 October 2013, The Box's logo, branding, onscreen and online design was refreshed. In addition, the channel and its siblings can now be streamed on the Box Plus App and at the channel's website.
- Super Hits & New Releases - Tune in to these super-hot hits and the latest trending videos. Look no further for today's music fix!
- On Point! Today's Hot Hits - These tracks are on point! Look no further for today's hottest hits!
- Hot 10 in 10 - The 10 biggest tracks edited into a 10-minute remix.
- Hotmix - The best tracks of the last few years. The songs are usually cut down and are edited to flow smoothly into the next track.
- The Friday Hotmix - Non-stop mix of the biggest tracks to soundtrack your Friday!
- ...'s Hot New Vid! - Brand new music video from a major artist.
- Powerplay! Today's Top 10 - Stay on the pulse of the hottest tracks around with today's 10 must see videos!
- UK Hotlist Top 20 & Top 40 - The 20 and 40 most streamed tracks on Spotify in the last week, counted down by Will Best.
- The UK Music Video Chart - Presented by Bethan Leadley and with data supplied by YouTube, The UKMVC supplies you with the most watched music videos of the week.
- This Week's Fresh Music Top 20 - Miquita Oliver counts down the 20 freshest music videos at the moment.
- The Official Box Upfront Chart - Presented by Jon Jackson and with data compiled by Radio Monitor, The Official Box Upfront Chart plays the 10 biggest pre-release tracks.
- The Pulse - A selection of music videos from new artists.
- 40 Massive Weekend Beats - There is no better way to enjoy the weekend than with these 40 huge bangers to dance the night away!
- What's Hot? All Night! - The party doesn't stop yet! We have some of the hottest videos to keep you going through the night.
- Fresh 'N' Juicy Hits - The biggest tracks to get you through the morning.
- "Channel 4 acquires full ownership of The Box Plus Network". Channel 4. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
- "Bauer's Box channels appear free-to-air on satellite". a516digital. 2 April 2013.
- "Freesat turn up the volume with 4 new music channels". Join Freesat. 15 April 2013.