The channel, that will be funded by advertising, will show factual, entertainment and lifestyle programming from the Discovery library.
However, programmes produced with the BBC will not be shown on the channel.
"The UK now has the most competitive and diverse TV market in the world and the launch of a Freeview channel is an important element in expanding consumer reach," said Dan Brooke from Discovery UK, "We will be announcing the channel's name nearer to the launch date, which will be early in 2009,"
David Zaslav, president of Discovery, said the new Freeview channel will "both complement and enhance our offerings" in the UK.
Discovery broadcasts in 170 countries - it is possible that this channel will cost the corporation 10m a year for the Freeview slot alone.