UKTV’s growth story continues.
The commercial network, which is a joint venture between Scripps Networks Interactive and BBC Worldwide, shattered previous ratings records across its 10 channels to post its highest ever audience share on Easter Sunday.
Per BARB, UKTV managed a 7.13% audience share on Easter Sunday, whilst also posting an audience share of 6.45% over the Easter weekend – up some 21% from last year’s 5.32%. That follows on from what was UKTV’s most successful week in the ratings in their 21 year history, with the network of channels managing an audience share of 6.05% in week 16.
Of UKTV’s 10 channel’s, Really saw the biggest ratings growth compared to last year (up 21%). That was followed by crime channel Alibi (up 13%) and flagship entertainment channel Watch (up 8%). Meanwhile top performing shows included Storage Hunters (554K viewers), Murdoch Mysteries (184K viewers) and Only Fools and Horses (182K viewers).
“Our growth strategy is paying dividends with UKTV celebrating its best week and best day ever”, said Darren Childs, CEO of UKTV. “In 2014, UKTV will invest more in content than ever before, giving viewers even more great reasons to spend time with us.”
UKTV has been on a growth trajectory for the past couple of years. Even before these results, 2013 was a record year for the broadcaster with their comedy channel Dave securing its position as the UK’s number one non-PSB channel. The growth has been driven by a large investment in content across all of their channels.
That investment in content, which as Childs notes will see UKTV spend £110 million in 2014, has seen the commercial network snap up a number of acquisitions both scripted and unscripted and in addition to raising their audience share has cemented UKTV’s position as a key buyer for both the big Hollywood studios and independent distributors on both sides of the Atlantic. Original commissions have also been key – especially with UKTV’s recent move into scripted. Such scripted commissions have included Red Dwarf X, You, Me & Them and the upcoming Legion, which is the company’s first original drama.