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Το κανάλι ξεκίνησε να εκπέμπει στις 2 Μαρτίου του 2002,<ref name="bbcpress">{{cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2002/02_februrary/14/fourlaunch.shtml |title=Culture, controversy and cutting edge documentary: BBC FOUR prepares to launch |publisher=BBC Press Office |date=14 February 2002 |accessdate=22 Αυγούστου 2014}}</ref> και έκπεμπε από τις 19:00 μέχρι τις 4:00. Το πρόγραμμα του καναλιού περιλαμβάνει κωμωδίες, δραματικές σειρές, ντοκιμαντέρ, μουσικές εκπομπές και διεθνής ταινίες. Λόγω της άδειας που έχει το κανάλι είναι υποχρεωμένο να μεταδίδει τουλάχιστον 100 ώρες με νέα προγράμματα σχετικά με τις τέχνες και τη μουσική και 20 διεθνείς ταινίες σε πρώτη προβολή κάθε χρόνο<ref name="bbctrustremit11">{{cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/regulatory_framework/service_licences/tv/2011/bbc_four_feb11.pdf |title=BBC Four Service Licence. Issued February 2011 |accessdate=17 Ιουλίου 2014 |publisher=[[BBC Trust]]}}</ref><ref name="bbctrust">{{cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/regulatory_framework/service_licences/tv/2009/bbc_four_aug09.pdf |title=BBC Four Service Licence. Issued May 2009 |accessdate=17 Ιουλίου 2014}}</ref>.
 
==History==
BBC Four launched on 2 March 2002 at 19.00 [[Greenwich Mean Time|GMT]], having been delayed from the original planned 2001 launch. The channel replaced [[BBC Knowledge]], an educational and cultural channel which had undergone many changes throughout its lifetime; in its final format it carried a schedule of documentaries and art programming, essentially a test of the new BBC Four schedule. BBC Four would rebrand this channel, and bring it into line with the well recognised BBC One and Two brands at the same time. Planning for the new channel, along with the new [[BBC Three]], had been in progress since October 2000; however, the incumbent government delayed approving the new BBC digital plans. The BBC Four plans were approved earlier, and as a result launched before BBC Three.
 
BBC Four was different from the old BBC Knowledge: the channel would be more heavily promoted with more new and original programming and the channel would not be broadcast 24 hours a day. This was due to the fact that on the Freeview [[digital terrestrial television|digital terrestrial]] platform, BBC Four is broadcast in a [[statistical time division multiplexing|statistically multiplexed]] stream in Multiplex B that timeshares with the [[CBeebies]] channel (which is on air from 6.00 until 19.00). As a result, BBC Four broadcasts from 19.00 to around 4.00 each night, with an hour's down-time and promotions for CBeebies before the start of that channel's schedule.
 
On 12 May 2011, BBC Four was added to the Sky [[Electronic program guide|EPG]] in Ireland on channel 230.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.theairwaves.net/channelnews/4399-ireland-extra-bbc-channels-being-added-to-sky-epg|title=Ireland: Extra BBC channels being added to Sky EPG|publisher=The Airwaves|date=2 May 2011}} {{Dead link|date=September 2011}}</ref>
 
==Organisation==
BBC Four forms part of the [[BBC Vision]] group, and as a result, the channel controller is answerable to the head of this executive department: Emma Swain, as of 2012. The channel direction is determined by the channel's remit, set by royal charter and the corporation's governing body (the [[BBC Trust]]), and by the channel controller. In October 2013, following the departure of Richard Klein from the controllership, the management of the channel changed, with the role of Controller of BBC Four scrapped: from this point the Controller of BBC Two would have ultimate oversight of BBC Four as part of their role, absorbing some of the former duties of the Controller of BBC Four, but a new 'Channel Editor' post, reporting up to this controller, would be created to take day-to-day charge of Four. The controllers of BBC Four to date have been:
 
*2002–2004: [[Roly Keating]]
*2004–2008: [[Janice Hadlow]]<ref>{{cite press release |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2008/10_october/01/two.shtml |title=Janice Hadlow to be new Controller of BBC Two |date=1 October 2008 |publisher=BBC Press Office |accessdate=13 December 2008 }}</ref>
*2008–2013: [[Richard Klein (TV)|Richard Klein]]<ref>{{cite press release |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2008/11_november/24/four.shtml |title=Richard Klein named new Controller of BBC Four |date=24 November 2008 |publisher=BBC Press Office |accessdate=13 December 2008 | archiveurl= http://web.archive.org/web/20081208012005/http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2008/11_november/24/four.shtml| archivedate= 8 December 2008 | deadurl= no}}</ref>
*2013-2014: [[Janice Hadlow]] (as Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four) "on an interim basis"<ref>http://www.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/insidethebbc/managementstructure/biographies/klein_richard/</ref> - Hadlow had been Controller of BBC Two since departing BBC Four in 2008
*Early 2014 : Adam Barker (interim Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four following Janice Hadlow's departure to a new post)<ref>[http://www.tvwise.co.uk/2014/02/adam-barker-appointed-acting-controller-bbc-two-bbc-four/ "Adam Barker appointed acting controller of BBC Two and BBC Four", TVWise 19 February 2014]</ref>
*2014-present: Kim Shillinglaw (as Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four)<ref>[http://www.tvwise.co.uk/2014/04/kim-shillinglaw-named-bbc-two-bbc-four-controller/ "Kim Shillinglaw Named BBC Two & BBC Four Controller", TVWise 11 April 2014]</ref>
 
Channel Editors of BBC Four have been:
 
*2013-present: Cassian Harrison<ref>[http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2013/channel-editor-bbcfour.html "Cassian Harrison appointed as Channel Editor, BBC Four", BBC Media Centre, 2 October 2013]</ref>
 
BBC Four has an annual budget of £54.3 million.<ref name="bbctrustremit11"/>
 
==BBC Four HD==
[[File:BBC Four HD.png|200px|thumb|Το λογότυπο του BBC Four HD.]]
On 16 July 2013, the BBC announced that a [[High-definition television|high-definition]] (HD) [[simulcast]] of BBC Four would be launched by early 2014.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23326709|title=BBC to launch five new HD channels|publisher=BBC News|date=16 July 2013|accessdate=16 July 2013}}</ref> The channel launched on 10 December 2013, though will roll-out nationwide up to June 2014 (as will [[BBC News (TV channel)|BBC News HD]] and [[CBeebies|CBeebies HD]]).<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2013/new-hd-channels.html|title=BBC to launch five new subscription-free HD channels on Tuesday 10 December|publisher=[[BBC]]|date=9 December 2013|accessdate=9 December 2013}}</ref> The channel broadcasts on the BBC's new HD multiplex on Freeview and shares its stream with [[CBeebies|CBeebies HD]] as they both air at different times. Prior to launch, the majority of BBC Four's HD output was broadcast on the [[BBC HD]] channel before its closure on 26 March 2013.
 
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