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Tv Listing Uk - How to Get a TV Listing in the UK - Where to get TV Listings for UK Television

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There was once a time when not many people cared to look up or read about a UK TV listing. UK TV for many years consisted of the great BBC until BBC2 came along. Viewers had memorized most of the regular programming and specials were advertised in the newspapers.

After the advent of Sky TV and the competing satellite and cable television companies, the demand for TV listings became much greater. Even with onscreen guide programs and having access to the latest technology in home television, some people still have a need to view their programming in print or, at the very least, away from the TV.

This demand for TV listings did not go unnoticed. Several companies rushed in to fill the gap, including leading TV listing magazines from the United States such as TV Guide. Early TV listings in the UK were nothing more than a chronological list of times and programs. There were no descriptions, recommendations, or ratings. UK TV listings have come a long way. Now, they are available with all the bells and whistles. Modern TV listing guides have full descriptions, actor names, running times, star ratings, and much more.

Where to get TV Listings for UK Television

TV listings for UK programming are available in both print and digital online forms. However, just like in the United States and other countries, print magazines and publications for TV listings are falling out of favor. People are beginning to demand not only online listings but interactive online listings that allow users to highlight programs, mark them with reminder alarms, or send a message to their DVR systems to record programs while they are away from home.

Here are some of the leading providers of TV listings for UK programming:

Press Association

The UK Press Association is the premiere news agency in Britain. They report internationally and publish a variety of newspapers. The Press Association is today owned by the PA Group. The PA Group, in turn, owns several publications based on sports and entertainment. Among their publications is a UK TV listing. In addition, the Press Association publishes several provincial newspapers that contain TV listings for the most popular channels. British newspapers don’t have enough space for all of the 600+ channels available in the country.


DigiGuide is, perhaps, the largest and most popular of the online TV listings for UK programming. DigiGuide has several unique features that have helped its rise in popularity. Among the features of this proprietary software for Microsoft Windows is the following:

  • Automatic updates of TV listings for the UK.
  • Multiple viewing options for TV listings, including single-channel, multi-channel, and grid.
  • Listings are searchable by name (program or episode), keywords, or category.
  • User-definable program highlighting.
  • Program alerts via onscreen, text message, or email.
  • Several available skins for a customized appearance.
  • User forums and customer support.

DigiGuide is available by subscription. Current prices are £14.99 for the first year and £9.99 for each subsequent year. Options are also available for browser-based viewing and mobile viewing.

Red Bee Media Broadcasting Dataservices

Also known as BDS, this company provides a TV listing for UK programs to several different platforms. This is where Sky, TalkTalk TV, and Virgin Media get all of their programming data for their onscreen guides. They also provide Microsoft with listings for Windows Media Center in over 20 countries.

BDS is headquartered in London and their massive databases contain listings from more than 1,200 channels in European markets. They carry a total of 445 channel listings in the UK. Several popular channels have even designated them as the “official” UK TV listing supplier, including Virgin Media, UKTV, ITV, Five, and BBC.

BDS is now a multimillion pound business with a staff of over 140 people all working to get the listings out to 14 different electronic program guides.

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