CBBC (TV channel)

This article is about the BBC digital channel. For the BBC children's programming strand, of which this channel forms a part, see CBBC. For other uses, see CBBC (disambiguation).
Launched 11 February 2002 (2002-02-11)
Owned by BBC
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.46% (September 2015 (2015-09), BARB)
Slogan Just imagine...
Country United Kingdom
Replaced CBBC on Choice (CBBC programming strand on BBC Choice)
Sister channel(s) BBC One
BBC Four
BBC News
BBC Parliament
Website www.bbc.co.uk/tv/cbbc
Freeview Channel 120
Channel 123 (HD)
Sky (UK) Channel 613 (SD/HD)
Channel 633 (SD/HD)
Freesat Channel 600 (SD/HD)
Channel 607 (SD)
Sky (Ireland) Channel 613
Astra 2E 10818 V 22000 5/6
10847 V 23000 2/3 (HD)
TrueVisions (Thailand) Channel 147
Dish Network (USA) Channel 9407
Virgin Media
Channel 701
Channel 710 (HD)
Virgin Media Ireland Channel 608
Telenet (Belgium) Channel 605
Naxoo (Switzerland) Channel 215
TrueVisions (Thailand) Channel 147
Ziggo (Netherlands) Channel 63
WightFibre Channel 17
StarHub TV (Singapore) Channel TBA
SkyCable (Philippines) Channel TBA
Channel 605
KPN (Netherlands) Channel 25
now TV (Hong Kong) Channel TBA
UniFi (Malaysia) Channel TBA
Telfort (Netherlands) Channel 25
XS4ALL (Netherlands) Channel 25
Streaming media
BBC iPlayer Watch live (UK only)
FilmOn Watch live
TVCatchup Watch live (UK only)
Horizon Go Watch live (Ireland only)
Watch live (Switzerland only)

CBBC is a British free-to-air children's television channel operated by the BBC. Launching in 11 February 2002 as a spin-off from the BBC's children's strand of the same name, CBBC broadcasts for fourteen hours per-day from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Freeview, cable, IPTV and digital satellite. CBBC is primarily aimed at viewers 6 to 12 years old; a sister channel known as CBeebies serves a younger audiences. CBBC was named Channel of the Year at the Children's BAFTA awards in November 2008 and 2015. The channel averages 300,000 viewers daily.[1]

The channel originally shared bandwidth on the digital terrestrial television platform with BBC Knowledge,[2] and later BBC Three, necessitating that CBBC sign off at 7:00 p.m. daily. Beginning on 11 April 2016, following the closure of the linear BBC Three television service, CBBC extended its broadcast day by two hours.[3][4]

On 22 August 2008, the BBC announced that the channel would be available live on its website from 16 September.[5] CBBC's reach further expanded with the addition of the channel on the Sky lineup in the Republic of Ireland on 12 May 2011.[6] Since 27 March 2013, CBBC has been carried by the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), sharing a channel with BBC Two.[7]


Along with CBBC, the CBBC channel is operated by the BBC Children's department within the BBC and is part of the BBC North group. BBC Children's was originally based in the East Tower of BBC Television Centre since the department's inception, but moved to MediaCityUK in Salford in September 2011, and the live presentation links used throughout the day are now recorded and broadcast from there. The channel is answerable to the CBBC Channel controller Damian Kavanagh, in post since 2009, and to the director of BBC Children's Joe Godwin, appointed in 2009 and in charge of the whole direction of the channel and its strand counterpart.


The remit of CBBC is to provide a wide range of high quality, distinctive content for 6–12 year olds, including comedy, entertainment, drama, animation, news and factual. The great majority of this content should be produced in the UK. CBBC should provide a stimulating, creative and enjoyable environment that is also safe and trusted. The service should have a particular focus on informal learning, with an emphasis on encouraging participation.
CBBC Remit[8]

The CBBC channel's programming output is very similar to the strand shown on BBC One. The channel often complements this strand with programmes shown earlier than on the terrestrial channels, repeats or whole series shown in a day, alongside other exclusive commissions.

Most viewed programmes

The following is a list of the ten most watched shows on CBBC, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB.[9]

Rank Show Episode Date Viewers
1 The Sarah Jane Adventures The Empty Planet (Part 1) 1 November 2010 993,000
2 The Sarah Jane Adventures Lost In Time (Part 1) 8 November 2010 984,000
3 The Sarah Jane Adventures Death of the Doctor (Part 2) 26 October 2010 960,000
4 The Sarah Jane Adventures Death of the Doctor (Part 1) 25 October 2010 920,000
5 Tracy Beaker Returns Shadows 13 January 2012 874,000
6-7 Tracy Beaker Returns Slow Burn 6 January 2012 856,000
6-7 Tracy Beaker Returns Big Brother 20 January 2012 856,000
8 My Sarah Jane A Tribute to Elisabeth Sladen 23 April 2011 830,000
9 Tracy Beaker Returns Full Circle 8 January 2010 828,000
10 The Sarah Jane Adventures Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith (Part 2) 16 November 2010 824,000

Class TV

As part of the channel's original remit, the channel originally needed to show 100 hours a year of factual and schools programmes.[10] The service managed this by introducing the Class TV strand to the channel, which would air educational programming for approximately two hours each day in the late morning, with normal programming resuming in the early afternoon. Much of this programming was old BBC Schools programming shown, in some cases, decades before and which was for the most part still relevant. Very little new schools programmes were commissioned.

CBBC Puppets

Name Year Notable TV programs
Bl1nk Bot 3[11] 2016-present CBBC HQ
Dodge T. Dog 2010–present CBBC Office/HQ & Hacker Time
Hacker T. Dog 2009–present CBBC Office/HQ, Hacker Time & Scoop
Oucho T. Cactus September 2007–January 2010, September 2015 CBBC Office, Ed and Oucho's Excellent Inventions & Transmission Impossible with Ed and Oucho
Nev the Bear 2002–December 2010, August 2012 Smile, Bear Behaving Badly & Hacker Time
Basil Brush 1963–2010
2015 (on tour)
The Basil Brush Show & Basil's Swap Shop
Emlyn the Gremlyn 1999–2001 CBBC Studio
Otis the Aardvark 1994–99, 2015 Saturday Aardvark
Ratz 1993–94 Live & Kicking
Edd the Duck 1988–1993, 2015 The Broom Cupboard
Gordon the Gopher 1985–1992, 2015 The Broom Cupboard & Going Live!


The CBBC channel has had relatively similar presentation to that of its strand counterpart. The logo has consistently remained the same as the service; green coloured blobs at the beginning of its life and the current green and white logo since September 2007. The channel has mainly utilised presenters from the main service, with a few presenters appearing mostly on the new channel; Gemma Hunt and Anne Foy being notable examples and appearing consistently until August 2007. At the beginning of September 2007, along with the relaunch, the same presenters of the CBBC channel would also feature on the CBBC on BBC One and Two.

When the channel launched, presentation was located in TC2 at BBC Television Centre, where the channel shared studio facilities with the channel's original magazine show Xchange. This changed in Autumn 2004, when the channel moved to TC9 following the normal CBBC links move to TC10; however this was changed in March 2006 so that all CBBC and CBBC channel links were located in TC9. A further change was to take place on 4 December 2006 when all output moved to a Chroma key set within TC12, and was presented by only one presenter. This short live decision lasted until the 2007 relaunch, which involved a new 'office' set being constructed, initially in TC12 and then in a new studio facility in the East Tower of Television Centre.

In 2011, the CBBC Channel moved to MediaCityUK, and has been presented from there since 5 September. The Office has been through a number of revamps since then, 2 in 2015, the first one being a minor change because of the Go CBBC app, and another one in May which entirely changed some of the structure, adding a post chute and a Up Next screen, and 1 so far in 2016, due to the channel's new look, gaining a smaller desk, an extra Up Next screen, and renaming it 'CBBC HQ'.


The CBBC HD logo used from 2013 to 2016.
Not to be confused with BBC HD.

On 16 July 2013, the BBC announced that a high-definition (HD) simulcast of CBBC would be launched by early 2014.[12] The channel launched on 10 December 2013.[13] The channel broadcasts on the BBC's existing HD multiplex on Freeview and shares its stream with BBC Three HD as they air at different times.

Prior to launch, the majority of CBBC's HD output was broadcast on BBC HD before its closure on 26 March 2013. The HD channel was not added to the Sky EPG in the Republic of Ireland.

From 16 July to 5 August 2014, CBBC HD was temporarily removed from Freeview during the 2014 Commonwealth Games to let BBC Three (and BBC Three HD) broadcast 24 hours a day, similar to how BBC Parliament was removed during the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.

Other services

CBBC Extra

As from 2013, CBBC Extra is now also accessed by the CBBC website.[14]

CBBC Extra is a free interactive television service from CBBC provided by the BBC Red Button. It is accessible from the CBBC channel by pressing red and then selecting CBBC Extra from the main menu. It can also be accessed from any other BBC channel by pressing red and going to page number 570. The service differs across digital platforms, for example Sky viewers can access a video loop. Its availability on Freeview is dependent upon BBC Red Button not showing other interactive services, such as major sports events coverage.[15] The service offers numerous features including Newsround, Horoscopes, Chris/Dodge's Blog, viewer content and jokes and other interactive elements.

CBBC Online

Main article: BBC Online

The CBBC website provides a wide range of activities for viewers aged 6–15, such as games, videos, puzzles, printable pages, pre-moderated message boards and frequently updated news feeds. It contains pages for the majority of its current programming with various content on each. There are also micro-sites from Newsround and Sportsround, providing children with news and sport, as well as the CBBC iPlayer to replay CBBC programmes for up to thirty days.

See also


  1. "Bafta honour for Chuckle Brothers". BBC News.
  2. "New children's channels from BBC launch". Digital Spy. 11 February 2002. Retrieved 18 July 2007.
  3. "CBBC gets two extra hours on TV". BBC Newsround. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  4. "BBC Trust tells parents unhappy at CBBC's late finish: 'there is an off button'". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  5. "BBC Four, CBBC and CBeebies to simulcast online". BBC Press Office. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  6. "Ireland: Extra BBC channels being added to Sky EPG". The Airwaves. 2 May 2011. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011.
  8. "CBBC Service License" (PDF). BBC Trust. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  9. BARB, via
  10. "CBBC Service License 2006" (PDF). BBC Trust. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  11. http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/joinin/cbbc-hq-name-our-robot
  12. "BBC to launch five new HD channels". BBC News. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  13. "BBC to launch five new subscription-free HD channels on Tuesday 10 December". BBC. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  14. "CBBC Extra". BBC. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  15. "CBBC- CBBC extra". CBBC. 21 May 2007. Archived from the original on 22 February 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2007.

External links

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