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UKTV grows free streaming service UKTV Play by over a quarter in 2022


- UKTV grew views to free streaming service UKTV Play by 27% last year and added over one million registered users

- The network also achieved record SOCI (share of commercial impacts) of 8.70%, up from 8.52% in 2021

- Sister Boniface Mysteries (Drama) was UKTVs highest rating show, watched by 1.3million viewers

- UKTV Originals topped the ratings chart on five of UKTVs channels - Traces S2 (Alibi) Bangers & Cash S6 (Yesterday), Meet the Richardsons S3 (Dave), Newark, Newark (Gold) and Emma Willis: Delivering Babies S3 (W)

- W launched free-to-air propelling the channel to 23% share growth

- The broadcaster announced its move into commissioning original drama for its Drama channel

- UKTV also celebrated BAFTA success with a double win for Daves Big Zuus Big Eats


Commercial broadcaster UKTV announced today that following a year of increased investment and focus on its free streaming service UKTV Play, it has grown direct-to-consumer views by over a quarter and added a further one million registered users. The network also achieved record SOCI (share of commercial impacts) in 2022, up 2.1% from 8.52% in 2021 to 8.70% last year, and UKTV added to its silverware with two BAFTAs for its homegrown show Big Zuus Big Eats.

UKTVs CEO, Marcus Arthur, said,

Despite the economic downturn in the latter half of 2022, UKTV has continued to grow its share of the commercial TV market (SOCI) to record levels while continuing to invest in services and programming. UKTV Play has undergone product updates and a major brand refresh, while thousands of hours of new content have been added to the service, resulting in growth of over a quarter. Across five of our channels UKTV Original commissions were the top performing shows, and we saw our commitment to finding and launching new talent continue to bear fruit with the second series of Big Zuus Big Eats winning two BAFTAs earlier in the year.

Weve also made great strides in our digital content strategy, producing more original short-form content helping to drive over 12 million views to our Dave YouTube channel, up 42% year-on-year, and achieving over one million downloads to our new suite of podcasts.

Looking ahead to 2023, we know its going to be a challenging time for all commercial broadcasters as we face into an advertising recession, however, at UKTV we remain committed to continuing to invest in channels, content and UKTV Play to fuel growth and provide our viewers with even more content they love.


The growth in UKTV Plays direct-to-consumer views (27%) was aided by over 3000 hours of new content being added to the service last year. This was achieved through newly acquired programming to complement UKTVs own originations, including UKTV Play and Dave YouTube original Rosie Jones Disability Comedy Extravaganza, and W joining the service following its move free-to-air in March. In September UKTV Play underwent a full rebrand, with a renewed digital-first brand direction and a fresh look and feel, and towards the end of 2022 the service began to transition content to HD, which once complete will allow UKTV Play viewers to watch their favourite programmes such as Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over, Bangers & Cash, MasterChef Australia and Big Zuus Big Eats in full HD quality for the first time. UKTV Play also added one million registered users in 2022 to reach 6.45m.

Channels and Content

Ws move free-to-air on 28 March last year helped propel the channel to 23% share growth year-on-year and UKTV Original commissions accounted for half of Ws top 10 programmes, with series three of Emma Willis: Delivering Babies taking the top spot, with its highest rating episode peaking at 510k viewers (Total Consumption - TC). UKTV Originals, Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over, Nurses on the Ward, Inside the Ambulance and 999 Rescue Squad also featured in the top 10 programme list.

Dave continued to have the strongest reach of any non-PSB owned channel, reaching 13.8m adults per month in 2022. Its top performing show was series three of Meet the Richardsons which launched to 792k individuals (TC). It was closely followed by QI XL and series two of Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable which launched to a TC audience of 681k individuals. Across the course of the year the channel welcomed back a number of UKTV Original series, including Late Night Mash, Hypothetical, Comedians Giving Lectures and double BAFTA-winning Big Zuus Big Eats, which sat alongside brand new shows such as Live at The Moth Club, Sneakerhead, Daves All New Laughs pilots and feature-length comedy We Are Not Alone, from the writers of acclaimed BBC comedy Ghosts.

The return of Traces to pay channel Alibi saw it take the top ratings spot, with a series average of 826k individuals (TC), narrowly beating premiere acquisition CSI: Vegas into second place with 747K viewers (TC). Over on pay channel Gold, UKTV Originals accounted for the top three highest rating shows (Newark, Newark, Murder, They Hope, and Billy Connolly Does... ) with Newark, Newark peaking at 531K viewers (TC).

Drama continued to retain its position as the number one non-PSB owned channel in the country and in Q3 last year it boasted a 1.65% share, equalising the channels best Q3 share ever. In addition, 2022 saw Drama celebrate its highest rating show in the history of the channel with BBC Studios-produced Sister Boniface Mysteries watched by 1.3million viewers (TC). And over on Yesterday UKTV Originals reigned supreme, accountable for the top five highest rating shows on the channel. Bangers & Cash series six came in at number one, with episode seven of the series peaking at 830k viewers, making it the highest rating transmission for Yesterday last year. Bangers & Cash: Restoring Classics, Secrets of the London Underground series two, Scouting for Toys, and Abandoned Engineering rounded out the
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