Universal Channel (UK and Ireland)
The Universal Channel is a television channel owned by NBCUniversal.
The channel mainly broadcasts United States imports including drama series and TV movies such as House MD and Law & Order. However the channel also screens British dramas including Hustle and Spooks, and Australian series like Sea Patrol and McLeod's Daughters. The channel specialises in programming that is appropriate for the whole family.
This channel is specific to audiences within the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The channel was previously owned by the privately backed Sparrowhawk Media Group, until late 2007 when the company was bought by NBC Universal. It was previously known as the Hallmark Entertainment Network and the Hallmark Channel.
Coinciding with the launch of Hallmark Channel HD, Hallmark Channel became 16:9 widescreen capable on 28 June 2010.
In June 2009, a memorandum leaked to the television trade newspaper Broadcast stated that NBC Universal planned to rebrand the Hallmark Channel as a Universal Channel in October 2009. The "Hallmark Channel" brand was licensed to NBC Universal from Crown Media (which operates the US Hallmark Channel) and was due to expire. An NBC Universal spokesperson denied such a rebrand would happen.