The Box (UK TV channel)

The Box (UK TV channel)

Infobox TV channel
name = The Box
logofile = Thebox.jpg
logosize =
logoalt = The Box Logo
launch = April 1992
share = 0.1%
share as of = April 2008
share source = []
owner = Box Television (Bauer Group/Channel 4)
web =
sat serv 1 = Sky Digital
sat chan 1 = Channel 359
cable serv 1 = Virgin Media
cable chan 1 = Channel 335
cable serv 2 = UPC Ireland
cable chan 2 = Channel 710|

The Box is a television channel in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The channel is one of many within the Box Television network, a joint venue between Channel 4 and Bauer Group. The channel mainly broadcasts music videos, although it also features other music-related programming.


The channel was brought to the United Kingdom by Vincent Monsey (of Radio Caroline fame) and his partner Liz Laskowski, who discovered the channel in Miami in 1991 as The Jukebox Network. The UK company, Video Jukebox Network International Limited, was formed in 1991 and the channel was launched in 1992 as THE BOX in the early days of cable television, carried by thee operators United Artist, Telewest in London and Bristol, and Videotron which is also based in London.

Over the next few years THE BOX "rolled out" on a regional basis across the United Kingdom on every cable system available, and eventually onto Sky Digital satellite in 1998. THE BOX was also broadcast on the Astra Satellite between 0200 and 0700 during the downtime of Granada Plus and Men & Motors. From 1999, all the regional versions of The Box were shut down and replaced with this 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. 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 is released, and this will generally contain new or current music videos. The playlist was published on Teletext and the channel's website.

Current format

The channel is well-known for its First Play feature, where many videos often make their UK or world première. This new music is often shown through the 'Box Fresh' show on the channel. Most notably, The Box, were recognised 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 and helping to launching the group to mega stardom. Before Emap took ownership within Box Television, the channel was recognised 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 "Big Hits First" — previous mottos include "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 4, before EMAP's remaining 50% in the company was sold to Bauer Verlagsgruppe in January 2008.

Other uses of The Box brand

*The Box's compilation albums were originally released by Telstar Records, before the brand was shifted over to Universal TV.

Technical issues of The Box

As The Box feeds were based on the ITV regional system, each head-end had a playout system which played out whatever the viewers in the area were requesting. The systems were American and could only process NTSC material hence the picture quality on The Box looked poorer than other channels.


Current programming

*Box Breakers - A countdown of the top 10 videos, chosen by the Box.
*Box Floorfillers - A non-stop mix of the biggest party tunes.
*Box Fresh - A selection of the biggest and newest music videos.
*Chart Hits - Non-stop chart music.
*First Play! - Brand new music videos played for the first time.
*Official Hip-Hop Download Chart - Official countdown of the weeks' most downloaded Hip-Hop singles.
*Official R&B Download Chart - The official countdown of the best selling R&B downloads of the week.
*Hit40UK: The Top 20 - Countdown of the top 20 best selling singles, downloads and greatest airplay in the UK.
*Hit40UK: The Top 40 - Countdown of the top 40 best selling singles, downloads and greatest airplay in the UK.
*Saturday Night Chart Hits - The best chart topping music.
*Signed by The Box - A selection of signed music videos.
*Box Doubles - Two uninterrupted tracks from certain artists.
*Then And Now - A look at different artists current and previous videos.
*Top 10: - The biggest top 10 videos from a particular artist or group.
*UK Airplay: Top 20 - The top 20 most played songs of the week.

External links

* [ The Box]

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