Smithsonian Channel expands international footprint with UK launch

Smithsonian Channel continues its international expansion today with its first European service, a high-profile launch in the UK.

Aerial America: Image credit Smithsonian Networks

Aerial America: Image credit Smithsonian Networks

Already available internationally in Canada, Singapore and Latin America, British and Irish viewers now have access to the network’s renowned, award-winning programming in HD on Virgin (Channel 295), Sky (Channel 195) and Freesat (Channel 175), and in SD on Freeview (Channel 99). Smithsonian Channel’s original content spans a wide range of non-fiction topics, including history, travel, air and space, science, nature and pop culture.

Inspired by the world-famous Smithsonian Institution – the world's largest museum and research complex, which was founded when Englishman James Smithson donated his fortune to America for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge” – and combined with the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® and CBS, Smithsonian Channel has become widely recognised for the quality of its non-fiction programming. It is the youngest channel to have won an Emmy®.

“Smithsonian Channel has already resonated powerfully with audiences in Canada, Singapore and Latin America, so we can’t wait to bring our award-winning and varied slate of programming to the UK audience,”

“We have a long track-record of working with UK production companies, and over the years our programmes have been featured by leading UK broadcasters. Now we’ll be bringing a lot of exciting new programmes to the UK, along with commissioning new programmes specific to British interests.”

Smithsonian Channel’s new UK commissions range from WHEN TARIQ ALI MET MALCOLM X about a friendship between two controversial firebrands – British Marxist and anti-Vietnam war protestor, Tariq Ali, and America’s black power advocate, Malcolm X – to MYSTIC BRITAIN, which reveals the secrets of Britain’s most mysterious sites and is hosted by television and radio presenter Clive Anderson, alongside anthropologist Mary-Ann Ochota, the author of “Hidden History.” In addition, the Channel is in production on a new series with the American-born Julie Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke, and is looking forward to marking landmark occasions such as the 50th anniversary of the moon landing through its 2019 programme slate.

“The Freeview platform is home to a wealth of wonderfully diverse content, all for free, which makes it a perfect home for Smithsonian Channel. Their award-winning non-fiction programming will find a brand new audience on the UK’s favourite TV platform and I’m certain that viewers will love the mix of history, travel, science and nature, among other topics, that Smithsonian Channel provides. We’re incredibly proud to be playing a role in bringing Smithsonian Channel to UK shores by providing access to the Freeview platform.”

Upcoming programming on Smithsonian Channel in the UK will include the following popular signature series:

• AMERICA IN COLOUR: Using artistry and modern colourisation techniques, this series transforms a history that most have only seen in black and white – America from the 1920s through the 1960s – and brings it back to life in full colour.

• THE LOST TAPES: This series transports viewers back in time to relive iconic moments in history. From the harrowing and heroic Apollo 13 mission to the Clinton Impeachment, THE LOST TAPES re-tells these dramatic stories solely through contemporary footage, audio recordings and news reports – including material not seen or heard before. There are no experts or interviews, allowing the viewers to make up their own minds about events.

• THE GREEN BOOK: GUIDE TO FREEDOM: A documentary revealing the true story of the motorist’s travel guide featured in the award-winning Hollywood movie about racial segregation in 1960s America.

• AERIAL AMERICA: The most ambitious aerial filming project in television history, covering over 150,000 miles, enough to have circled the globe six times. The episodes tell the stories of all 50 states, including their natural beauty, pop culture landmarks and historical insights. 


About Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing factual entertainment, available in HD and 4K Ultra HD across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel, winner of Emmy® and Peabody awards for its programming, combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, travel, history, science, nature and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are series including Aerial America, America in Color, The Lost Tapes, Mighty Ships, Million Dollar American Princesses, The Pacific War in Color and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include The Coronation, The Mountain Lion and Me, Earth from Outer Space and Titanoboa: Monster Snake. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Channel Plus™, a subscription video streaming service delivering over a thousand hours of the Channel’s stunning and diverse library of documentaries and series in HD and 4K Ultra HD. Smithsonian Channel is also available internationally in Canada, Singapore and Latin America. To learn more, go to, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.