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UKTV increases network share in 2020

14/01/2021

13 January 2021 Lockdown boosts viewership

UKTV hit 8.07% share of commercial impacts (SOCI), with year-on-year growth of 4%

UKTVs network share grew by 3.2% to achieve 4.63%

Dave, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Gold all grew channel share

Despite the pandemic temporarily pausing production, UKTV Originals delivered the top five rating programmes on the network:

1. feature-length Red Dwarf: The Promised Land

2. Meet The Richardsons

3. Ricky & Ralfs Very Northern Road Trip

4. Bangers & Cash

5. documentary series Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years

Bangers & Cash became the highest rating programme ever on Yesterday

UKTV Plays direct to consumer service saw a 42% increase in views and ended the year with 4.45 million registered users

UKTV today announced that its channels and VOD service, UKTV Play, saw strong growth for share of commercial impacts (SOCI) and channel viewing thanks to high performing originals underpinned by viewers tuning in to enjoy nostalgic and archive programming, in a year that saw the world in major upheaval.

UKTVs CEO, Marcus Arthur, said:

At the start of last year no one could have predicted what was in store. The global pandemic turned life upside down and businesses were forced to quickly adapt and pivot to new ways of working. Im incredibly proud of how the team came together during our first full year under BBC Studios ownership and embraced UKTVs unique challenger spirit to drive the business forward. While the pandemic temporarily paused production, UKTV was uniquely positioned with an incredibly rich archive of content which has been a much-appreciated source of joy for our viewers. This, alongside our strong pipeline of Originals, helped to deliver growth across all metrics in 2020.

We will continue to build on this momentum throughout 2021 by increasing investment in original programming, strengthening our partnerships with the production community, and by growing our video on demand service, UKTV Play. We also look forward to outlining our growth strategy for key areas of podcasts and digital content.

Share of Commercial Impacts

UKTV grew its SOCI by 4% in 2020, up from 7.76% in 2019 to hit 8.07%. The network also grew its 16-34 SOCI from 5.61% to 5.82%. During the first lockdown, UKTV added over 0.9 SOCI points (16 March to 14 June vs 6 Jan to 15 March) and broke its own SOCI record in May. In fact, six out of 10 of UKTVs biggest ever SOCI months were in 2020.

UKTV network and channels growth

UKTVs seven channel network grew its viewing share by 3.2% last year to 4.63%, reaching over 18 million viewers a week. The network achieved year-on-year share growth for adults ( 3.2%), 16-34s ( 2.3%) and ABC1s ( 5.3%). In addition, Dave ( 3.0%), Drama ( 9.6%), Gold ( 1.7%), Eden ( 2.9%) and Alibi ( 7.1%) experienced growth, with Drama maintaining its position as the number one non-PSB owned channel in the UK.

The network also grew its social presence, launching Dave on TikTok and clocking up over 21m views for its video content across social platforms, as well as doubling down on YouTube by reinvigorating its Dave YouTube channel.

Programming

UKTV built on its commissioning success in 2020. Red Dwarf: The Promised Land (Dave), Meet the Richardsons (Dave), Ricky & Ralfs Very Northern Road Trip (Gold), Bangers & Cash (Yesterday) and Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years (Dave) were the highest rating shows on the network with Red Dwarf: The Promised Land becoming Daves most watched show in seven years (2.02 million, total consumption). Yorkshire classic car auction series Bangers & Cash also drove big numbers to Yesterday and became the highest rating show in the channels history*, watched by 671k.

Richard Watsham, UKTVs Director of Commissioning, said: The March lockdown put a stop to almost all of UKTVs productions, but since then the team have been working hard with our production partners to get every genre back up and running. We also focussed our creative energies on an important development period. 2021 will see our biggest ever investment in originations and we wanted to make sure that we were ready to go with our strongest slate yet.

Even with the reduction in premieres last year, we broke new ground, delivering UKTVs first BAFTA, Yesterdays highest ever rating show and Daves best launch in seven years. The BAFTA is an achievement that well certainly savour, but with more new, ambitious scripted shows, innovative comedy entertainment and high quality factual than ever in the pipeline, we intend to be in the running for many more awards.

On Dave, which achieved its best SOCI performance since 2016, the success of Red Dwarf: The Promised Land was followed by Meet the Richardsons, which was watched by 1.13 million, making it the strongest launch of a brand-new original series on Dave in five years**. Big Zuus Big Eats had one of the strongest ever 16-34 profiles of a UKTV Original on Dave, with 55% of the shows audience aged 16-34.

The evolution of crime drama channel Alibi also paid dividends with new scripted drama We Hunt Together becoming the highest rating show on the channel in 2020, watched by 602k. Produced by BBC Studios and written by Gaby Hull (Cheat, Two Weeks to Live), the 6x60 series has been commissioned for a second outing, joining Traces which will return to Alibi later this year, alongside brand new original drama series Annika, starring Nicola Walker. New 6x60 series The Diplomat, from World Productions, plans to start filming in Barcelona this year. In addition, acquired content performed strongly on Alibi, with stand-out performances from Miss Scarlet and the Duke, Tommy, Stumptown, and Hudson and Rex.

Gold proved a hit during the turbulence of last year as viewers sought out nostalgia and comforting family favourites, resulting in the channels best Q2 SOCI performance since 2011. However, it was once
LINK: https://corporate.uktv.co.uk/news/article/uktv-increases-network-share...
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