There are plenty of television channels in the United Kingdom that bring a huge range of shows and programming to keep audiences in the UK and beyond the borders entertained. It may not be a walk in the park to come up with a precise list of the most popular shows because this can be extremely subjective, given that viewers have their preferences – some of which may between interests. However, if statistics were to be used, and the ranking done based on a channel’s reach, then the following would be considered as the UK’s top 10 list of TV channels with live TV streaming options:
- BBC One
BBC One has an enviable reach of over 56.3 million viewers in the United Kingdom and Ireland, placing it ahead of the park when considering the most popular television channels in the United Kingdom. BBC One is the flagship channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation. It was launched way back in November 1936 as the British Broadcasting Corporation Television Services. The station will go down the annals of history as the very first television channel in the world to provide regular TV services with very clear image resolution and sounds.
The dominance of BBC One is not just because it came before the others, but due to the fact that it is a channel dedicated to utmost professionalism when it comes to broadcasting and other programming. The channel hosts some of the most popular and educative programs in the region, and it is also available on a myriad of platforms, including cable, satellite and now with the advent of the internet, it is possible to live stream its content over the internet. Some of the notable shows by the channel include: The Apprentice, Doctor Who, Dynasties, The Little Drummer Girl, Informer, Still Open All Hours, Strictly Come Dancing, Island Medics, The Time It Takes, Impossible and much more.
- Channel 4
Channel 4 is currently the second most popular television channel in the United Kingdom, boasting of a viewership of over 53.2 million viewers. It is a publicly-owned and commercially funded public service broadcaster tasked with the mandate of delivering innovative, exceptional-quality and alternative content with the ability to challenge the status quo. The channel uses a unique model of publisher cum broadcaster, which implies that they don’t own any in-house production but rather get content from various production companies across the country.
The channels is available for live streaming from their official live TV website at www.channel4.com/now, though you can still catch up with the live streams on your mobile devices if you have the official mobile app. Live streaming may also be possible through third party streaming services. Some of the top shows you should look forward to watching from this channel include: Four in a Bed, Three Violent People, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, A New Life in The Sun, The Bisexual, Community, The Secret Life of The Zoo, Celebrity Hunted and Vice amongst others.
- BBC Two
BBC Two is another entity of the British Broadcasting Corporation that makes it to the list of the most popular television channels in the United Kingdom. It has a viewership reach of about 50.5 million in the United Kingdom, making it the third most popular channel in the UK. It is the second flagship channel for the BBC, and its programming covers a wide range of subject matter, though it tends to be bias towards “highbrow” shows than most of the mainstream channels and the incredibly popular BBC One channel.
If you are interested in catching live streams of BBC Two, the best option would be to use the official site where you will find a link to the Live TV broadcast. Other than that, you can always stream all the content by BBC Two straight to your mobile devices after installing the BBC App. Furthermore, there are other third party sites with BBC Two live streams, though such are never encouraged. Some of the top shows you can look forward to in this channel include: Snowfall, They Shall Not Grow Old, Dragons’ Den, School, Richard Orman’s House of Games, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, Top Gear, Testament of Youth and MasterChef amongst others.
- Channel 5
With a viewership of about 49.3 million, Channel 5 is currently the fourth most popular television channel in the United Kingdom. It is a free-to-air television network launched way back in 1997 and was among the national terrestrial analogue networks in the country, sharing the platform with channels such as ITV, Channel 4, BBC One, and BBC Two. Due to the quality of the programming availed by the channel, it has repeatedly maintained a spot amongst the top most popular television channels in the United Kingdom.
At this current age when live streaming is the norm for users, lovers of Channel 5 can catch up with its live streams from the channel’s official website, through the official mobile apps and through third party streaming services. Some of the shows to watch out for on this channel include: A Bride for Christmas, Baby Sellers, Badge of Betrayal, Getting Even with Dad, Grown Ups, Panic Room, Paper Angels, Sabrina, Santa Fe, and Secrets of the Great British Castles amongst others.
- ITV One
ITV is another to reckon with when talking about the most popular television channels in the United Kingdom. With a viewership of over 47.8 million, no one can claim that UK residents don’t love the content and the programming by ITV One. The service is basically an integrated producer and broadcaster that owns, creates and distributes high quality content on a variety of platforms designated for both UK and international audiences. ITV boasts of operating the largest commercial family of channels in the entire United Kingdom, and this is no mean achievement.
As far as access is concerned, ITV content can be found on a myriad of online platforms and sister channels. Live streaming is also possible from the official website as well as other third party streaming services, including the official ITV app for streaming on mobile devices.
E4 ranks as the sixth most popular television channel in the United Kingdome with a viewership estimated to be about 30 million viewers scattered across the country. It is a free-to-air television channel owned and operated by the Channel 4 TV Corporation. It is primarily an entertainment channel, catering for viewers between the ages of 16 and 34 years old. Since their audience is amongst the technologically apt demographic, E4 is conveniently available for live streaming through various platforms, including the channels official website, official YouTube channel, official mobile apps and other third party sites and apps. Some of the popular programs you will find in this channel include: Misfits, Skins, Shameless, Hollyoaks, Made in Chelsea, Coach Trip and The Inbtweeners amongst others.
- ITV Two
ITV Two is another broadcast by the Independent TV Corporation that finds a place in the list of the most popular television channels in the United Kingdom. It is available on cable, via satellite and can also be streamed live through pay TV services, the official website and mobile streaming apps. Some of the top shows you may look forward to watching in this channel, and which has increased its popularity include: The Ellen Degeneres Show, Weekender: Boat Party, American Dad, Family Guy, Spy Kids, Don’t Hate the Playaz, Celebrity Juice, CatchPhrase, Who’s Doing The Dishes and much more.
- Sky Atlantic
Sky is one of the popular proprietors of television channels in the United Kingdom, and Sky Atlantic is one of their properties making it to the list of the widely watched television channels in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This should not be confused by separate channels that also bear the same name, but operates in Italy, Austria and Germany.
The channel was founded in 2011, and though it is relatively new, it has proven that it has what it takes to command a sizeable share of the market. This can be attributed to a number of factors, chief among them being its availability for live streaming through the official website, mobile application and third party streaming services. Secondly, its programming is very well designed, with content to cater for the needs of every viewer. Some of its top shows include Britannia, Patrick Melrose, Fortitude, Riviera, Save Me, Tin Star, Babylon Berlin, The Tunnel, The Trip, Thronecast, and Hit & Miss amongst others.
- Sky Sports
Sports channels in the United Kingdome will never go without a mention of Sky Sports. This is a conglomeration of sports TV channels owned and operated by the Sky Network. It is the division dedicated to sporting needs of fans in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This is the place to be when you need live streams of all the major sporting events in the United Kingdom and the rest of world. Whether it is football (Britain), soccer (US), golf, rugby, volleyball, or tennis, you can be guaranteed that Sky Sports will offer in-depth coverage of such and this is what makes it amongst the popular TV stations in the UK.
- Sky Movies
Sky Movies, also known as Sky Cinemas refers to a collective name by Sky under which premium subscription based television movies channels are operated. No talk of movie channels in the United Kingdom will ever be complete without the mention of Sky Movies, and this is just a subtle indication at how popular the service is. Since it is a subscription based service, once you pick a subscription, you will have access to their entire database of past and current television shows and movies. You will also have the flexibility of streaming the movies and shows live over the internet and through their mobile apps once you validate your account details.