BBC Four is a British free-to-air television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation. It was launched on 2 March 2002, with a schedule running from 7:00pm to 3:35am. The channel shows “a wide variety of programmes including comedy, documentaries, music, international film, original programmes, drama and current affairs … an alternative to programmes on the mainstream TV channels”. It is required by its licence to air at least 100 hours of new arts and music programmes, 110 hours of new factual programmes and to premiere 20 foreign films each year.