Channel AKA
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Channel AKA
Massive R&B
Launched 3 February 2003
Owned by All Around the World Productions
Picture format 16:9 SDTV
Audience share 0.01% (September 2015 (2015-09), BARB)
Formerly called Channel U (2003-09)
Channel AKA (2009-18)
Sister channel(s) Now 80s
Now 90s
Clubland TV
Sky Channel 373
Astra 2G 11264 H 27500 2/3
Streaming media
TVPlayer Watch live (UK only)

Massive R&B (formerly Channel U and Channel AKA) is a British digital satellite TV music channel, owned by All Around the World Productions, available through Sky within the UK and Ireland on channel 373. It focuses on celebrating classic hip-hop R&B from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and current urban music - from US rap to UK grime.[]

As Channel AKA and Channel U, it focused on playing upcoming UK urban/grime/hip-hop music and helped the breakthrough for acts such as Tinchy Stryder, Tinie Tempah, Dizzee Rascal, Chip, Wretch 32, Devlin, Giggs, Skepta and N-Dubz.

Massive R&B was originally launched on 15 August 2011, replacing WTF (an initialism of Weekly Top Forty), but was removed from Sky on 27 March 2013 and was replaced with Planet Pop, It relaunched on 1 June 2018, replacing Channel AKA on Sky.


As Channel U

Channel AKA was a significant outlet not only for established artists, but also for those who are just starting out. Its material "includes crude productions shot with handheld digital video cameras,"[1] and helps new musicians attract attention and build a fan base.[2] According to its website, "the aim of the channel was to highlight to the public, the raw and unsigned talent we have in the UK, and give them a platform from which they could perform,"[3] and it has been successful in this mission, as suggested by the production and popularity of such compilation CDs as Channel U: The Album,"AKA Presents:Streets Grime and Life"and "Channel AKA:The Hotlist".[4]

Many artists have expressed their loyalty to the channel in their lyrics; for example, in Lady Sovereign's "9 to 5", "Channel who? Oh Channel U, the ones who made me huge, like Katie Price's boobs!". Other artists to comment on Channel U include Kano, Ironik, Lethal Bizzle, Sway, Remi Nicole, Mr Wong, and Dizzee Rascal. Dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip criticised Channel U in their song "Fixed", as did Lowkey, who cited the absence of any innovation and the channel's lack of desire to take risks.

In October 2005, the first annual Channel U Awards were held in London with live performances from its underground playlist.

Before he joined MTV to host the British version of Pimp My Ride, Tim Westwood had a show on Channel AKA, along with his other media activity. Following the success of the Westwood show the channel further developed its programming by licensing a lifestyle TV series, The Ballers Show, in 2006. The 30-minute show gave its audience the unique opportunity to see the real lives of footballers off the pitch and featured Premier League football stars including Jermain Defoe and Jermaine Pennant.[5]

As Channel AKA

The parent company of Fizz TV and Channel U went into voluntary liquidation at the beginning of February, 2009, before being purchased by Mushroom TV. When purchasing the two channels, Mushroom TV agreed that Channel U and Fizz TV should be rebranded. The two channels were rebranded as Channel AKA and Starz TV on 16 March 2009.

Aims: The aim of the channel is to provide fresh and exclusive entertainment to the viewers and to allow viewers to voice their opinions on videos through the power of voting. Not only does this give the viewer control over their viewing, it also allows artists to see how people are reacting to their music. AKA (formerly Channel U) highlights to the public, the raw and unsigned talent we have in the UK, and it has been successful in this mission, as suggested by the production and popularity of such compilation CDs as Channel U: The Album.

On 22 June 2012, Mushroom TV entered liquidation.[6]Ofcom's television broadcast licensing update for May 2012, indicates that Channel AKA was sold to All Around the World Productions, owner of Clubland TV, Planet Pop and Greatest Hits TV.[7] On 29 November 2012, the channel launched on Freesat but was removed on 15 April 2013.[8][9] The channel returned to Freesat in October 2015 alongside its sister channels Chilled TV, Clubland TV and Now Music.

On 14 July 2016, the channel's founder, Darren Platt, died.[10]

As Massive R&B

The channel was renamed as Massive R&B on 1 June 2018.[11] This has been the second time the name has been used for a channel owned by All Around the World.

On 1 November 2018, a country music channel Total Country will launch on Sky channel 373. It is currently unknown about the status of Massive R&B, if it will move channel number or close.[12]


In June 2005, the channel was fined £18,000 by Ofcom for a number of offences, including the broadcasting of inappropriate material, using premium rate telephone services in programmes, and failing to ensure a clear distinction between programmes and advertisements.[13]

Former logos


  1. ^ Frere-Jones, Sasha. 21 March 2005. "True Grime: A Genre's Magic Moment." The New Yorker. Accessed 14 March 2008.
  2. ^ Leon B. 03 September 2007. "Channel U: The Future Of UK Urban Music?" The Scene Magazine. Accessed 14 March 2008.
  3. ^ "The Channel U Shop: About." Accessed 14 March 2008.
  4. ^ Various artists (Such as [ NOXCUSE]), Channel U: The Album | | Arts
  5. ^ [1] Archived March 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Notice: 1618796 (Issue: 60193)". The London Gazette. 28 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Television Broadcast Licensing Update May 2012". Ofcom. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "Channel AKA joins Freesat line up". a516digital. 29 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Freesat lines up more music channels". a516digital. 15 April 2013.
  10. ^ "Celebrating Channel U's Darren Platt: unsung hero of the UK grime scene". The Guardian. 15 July 2016.
  11. ^ Channel AKA TV [@channelAKA385] (1 June 2018). "ANNOUNCEMENT! That's it - Channel AKA is no more! We've pioneered grime & UK urban with Channel U & AKA giving first play to many homegrown acts. But today our friends Massive R&B take over Sky373 & we say thanks for all YOUR support over the last 15 years! Love always AKA" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ "New Country TV Channel To Launch In November 2018 - Chris Country". Chris Country. 12 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Consideration of Video Interactive Television Plc in respect of its service Channel U" (PDF). Ofcom. Retrieved 2013.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes