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Original programming and video-on-demand fuel growth at UKTV

21/01/2020

21 January 2020

UKTV Originals account for seven of the top 10 programmes

SoCI increased by 5% since June 2019 and 4% across the year

UKTV Play became the fastest growing brand year-on-year up 43%

Today, UKTV announced that its network grew by 4% in 2019, with its flagship comedy channel, Dave, ranked number one non-PSB channel for 16-34s. Bumper viewing over the festive period contributed to driving Share of Commercial Impacts (SoCI) to 7.76% for 2019, versus 7.48% for 2018 (1).

Following the BBC Studios acquisition in June 2019, when Marcus Arthur was appointed CEO, UKTV has seen a strong uplift in viewing numbers across the network. UKTV Original commissions saw their best year ever accounting for seven out of the top 10 programmes across the network6. UKTV Originals also accounted for eight out of the 10 top shows for younger audiences (16-34s) as well as ABC1 audiences across the network (6). Drama and Yesterday both saw gains in 2019 and finished the year as two of the top 10 non-PSB channels. Drama achieved its best year ever since its launch in 2013.

Top performing UKTV Originals include Taskmaster, Dads Army: The Lost Episodes (Gold), The Cockfields (Gold), Dial M for Middlesbrough (Gold), Emma Willis: Delivering Babies (W), Traces (Alibi), Hypothetical (Dave) and Expedition with Steve Backshall, co-commissioned with BBC Two (Dave) among others.

The UKTV seven channel portfolio grew its adult SoCI by 5% following the BBC Studios acquisition of the business. The broadcaster also saw a 14% increase for younger audiences (16-34s). UKTVs exceptional growth in 2019 was achieved despite the separation of three channels Really, Good Food and Home. The broadcaster increased overall adult SoCI year-on-year from a five-year low of 7.48% in 2018 to 7.76% in 2019 making it the fifth biggest network in the UK.

On demand service UKTV Play (2) became the fastest growing brand for the broadcaster year-on-year with views up 43%, ending the year with more than three million registered users.

Acquisitions and BBC archive continued to supply a consistent flow of viewer favourites. Acquired content included Harrow and Waco on Alibi, The Brokenwood Mysteries on Drama, Masterchef Australia on W, Would I Lie to You on Dave and Train Truckers on Yesterday.

Meanwhile, UKTVs channel brands saw on-going success with BBC archive. Seven out of 10 BBC archive shows delivered the highest percentage of ratings across the year. Strong performing shows included; Last of the Summer Wine, New Tricks, Top Gear, Death in Paradise, Only Fools and Horses, Father Brown and QI XL. Death in Paradise and Call the Midwife attracted the fifth and eighth biggest audiences across the network with 618k viewers and 528k on top performing episodes respectively.

Marcus Arthur, President of BBC Studios UK & Ireland and CEO of UKTV said:

We are a significant investor in British creativity and committed to working with new and established on and off-screen talent and producers, which has been demonstrated by our strong slate and success in 2019. Weve more than doubled our development budget in the last 12 months and worked with nine new production partners.

Our vibrant channel brands foster loyalty in an increasingly complex landscape and offer advertisers targeted reach and a safe environment for their ad campaigns. Looking ahead we are set for growth with ambitious plans for our original commissioning and innovation across video-on-demand. We are looking to operate on a worldwide scale, creating bold, ambitious shows building on our 2019 UKTV Original successes including Traces, Expedition with Steve Backshall, and new for 2020, We Hunt Together.

UKTV expanded commercial revenue opportunities with UKTV Ventures, a multi-million-pound airtime for equity investment fund, which reached its first full year of operations in 2019. The fund completed 1million investments into PitPat, a pet tech start-up offering a dog activity monitor. Through UKTVs investment of commercial airtime across its network of channels, UKTV Ventures helps start-ups to build a nationally recognised brand, acquire new customers and accelerate their business growth.

Across sustainability initiatives, UKTV commissioned Expedition with Steve Backshall, the first carbon neutral production for the broadcaster. As a member of the Albert consortium, UKTV complies with mandatory carbon footprint reporting for all UKTV Originals with over 20 programmes already certified as sustainable.

The Dave partnership with mental health charity CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably) in 2019 was a year-long corporate social responsibility (CSR) on-air campaign which included two ad break takeovers, commissioned brand new series titled Comedy Against Living Miserably due to air in 2020, a branded podcast and off-air channel advertising campaign.

Daves core audience appealed to CALM, a leading movement trying to help combat male suicide, with its reach of nine million men. The campaign contributed towards an 8% increase in awareness levels in what was the charitys biggest year ever, during which the service received an average of 12,000 calls and webchats per month.

__

For the first time in 2019, Dave sponsored The Edinburgh Comedy Awards to further celebrate and support comics, from those breaking into the industry to much-loved names. The broadcaster renamed the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, The Daves, which saw Jordan Brookes receive the best comedy show award. The channel supported the sponsorship with a nationwide marketing campaign and commissioned over 40 pieces of original short form content for linear and social to run throughout the Fringe.

With its well-established passion for supporting fresh comedy, and with a growing slate of UKTV Originals, Dave is committed to seeking out new acts. Across the year, Dave had nine UKTV Original comedy entertainm
LINK: https://corporate.uktv.co.uk/news/article/original-programming-and-vid...
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