04 January 2016

The Guardian

Read the story in The Guardian


Hits including Storage Hunters and Dave Gorman: Modern Life is Goodish helped propel UKTV to a record share of the TV advertising market last year to match rivals Channel 5 and Sky for the first time.

The pay-TV company – which owns 10 channels including Dave, Gold, Watch and Drama – said that original commission Storage Hunters UK: Celebrity Special proved to be the network’s best-performing single show of 2015.

UKTV, which is jointly owned by US broadcaster Scripps and BBC Worldwide, also increased its share of commercial impacts to a record level last year.

The broadcaster’s Soci – an all-important measure of the amount of total TV advertising a broadcaster hauls in versus rivals – stood at an all-time high of 9.27% across the year to 26 December.

The figures put UKTV marginally ahead of Channel 5’s portfolio of channels, with a Soci of 9.26%, and Sky’s own branded channels, including news and sport, which stood at 9.25%.

UKTV is already bigger than Channel 4’s flagship station in terms of Soci, but smaller than its whole family of channels, which include E4, Film4 and More4.

It is the first time that UKTV has managed to match rivals of the scale of Channel 5 and Sky’s own channels across a year, with the statistics accounting for all bar the last few days of last year.

“We have taken risks and experimented with our content mix, ensuring viewers’ needs are at the heart of everything we do,” said Jan Gooze-Zijl, UKTV’s chief financial and operations officer. “For the first time in our history we are on a par with both Sky and Channel 5’s full portfolios which is testament to the hard work of all 270 staff members based here in Hammersmith.”

UKTV said that it has enjoyed its most successful ever festive season of programming, with Sunday 27 December the highest-ever daily share of viewing.

The broadcaster also enjoyed its best Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day viewing figures.

The broadcaster’s video player, UKTV Play, increased the number of views of shows by 26% year-on-year from 32m to approximately just over 40m.

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