Universal TV is closing in the UK this January

Universal TV is shutting down in the UK.

By Matt Lovett | 8 Jan 2020 at 6:47pm

Long-running TV Channel Universal TV is set to be axed over the coming weeks.

According to an update on the ISPreview.co.uk website, the media giants, BT, have revealed that Universal TV will no longer be available for viewers living in the United Kingdom from 27th January 2020.

Universal TV, best known for airing series’ such as NCIS and CSI, will no longer be available from 27th January 2020. 

BT TV customers have been informed that their saved recordings can still be accessed until 23rd February 2020, but after this, they have been left in the dark about how they can access their beloved shows from then on. 


Other TV platform operators have had yet to confirm arrangements as to how recordings taken from this channel can continue to be viewed by their customers.

In a short letter sent to their subscribers, BT stated that the decision was something that was not in their control and that it was driven by Universal’s decision to remove the channel and subscription platform from the United Kingdom television market. 

The announcement comes following months of speculation surrounding the fate of Universal TV, which was notably missing from various press announcements in late 2019, which spoke about the reconfiguration of Sky and Comcast channels in the United Kingdom. 

The decision seems to ultimately come from the merger of some Sky and NBCUniversal International operations and Comcast’s earlier takeover of Sky. 

Due to the merger, Sky has taken over a large proportion of the operational control of NBCU’s UK channels such as Universal TV, Syfy UK, and the like. As such, many of the shows, and related shows, that appeared on these channels will be found on some of Sky’s own channels, such as Sky Witness. However, this, in turn, means that Universal is ceasing to air on other TV platforms, and the show’s airings will rely on transferring to Sky subscription services for some viewers who do not presently use the services.  

Website updates and Social media communication has fazed out in the latter parts of 2019. The channel is rumored to be replaced by the new and upcoming Sky TV Channel ‘Sky Comedy’, which is due to make its debut on the same day that Universal closes. 


What will happen to existing running TV series on the channel?

This could mean that some popular TV shows shown on Universal TV will lose their UK broadcasting platform, and it is presently unknown as to whether another channel will pick them up- a challenge for unhappy viewers who are currently part way through viewing series’ such as The Resident, Burden of Truth, Condor and Chicago Med- it is a challenge to find new channels to place these shows on their concise schedules. 

Some of the shows that have been previously aired on Universal TV have been spotted on Sky Witness. However, it is still uncertain as to whether this takeover will host the other shows that have previously only aired on Universal TV. 

BT’s announcement is available for all potential new subscribers to read and ensures that all customers are kept informed of these developments before registering and signing a contract. 


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