UKTV has boasted strong financials for 2013 with record revenue of £278 million, up from 2012’s £262 million.
Despite the surge in revenue, UKTV saw a fall in profits for 2013. The commercial network, which is a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, reported an operating profit of £66.2 million, down from last year’s £71.5 million.
The fall in profit is being attributed to the costs behind the launch of Drama. Once those costs are factored in, UKTV reported a rise in underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization to £76.7 million, an increase of £5 million on the results for the previous year.
UKTV, who initially pledged to spend £100 million, before revising that figure to £110 million, wound up spending £125 million on commissions and acquisitions in 2013. Original shows to come out of that budget include Dynamo: Magician Impossible, Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish and Crackanory, which were amongst UKTV’s highest rated shows and those scoring strong international sales.
The performance of those original shows and exclusive acquisitions, such as Grimm and Suits, saw the company’s audience share increase by 5% to reach 4.67% in 2013. As previously reported, the SOCI (Share of Commercial Impacts) grew to 8.2% in 2013 and has since increased to 9.1% in the first half of 2014, up 17% compared to the same point last year.
According to UKTV, the ratings for their linear channels has seen their audience share surpass that of Turner, NBCU and Discovery combined. Meanwhile, their on-demand services, which were recently consolidated under UKTV Play, have seen a surge in viewership, with figures up by nearly 640% in the first half of 2014.
These strong results have put UKTV in position for their next “growth phase” which will see the company “taking advantage of the opportunity to grow market share during the UK’s economic recovery”. UKTV CEO Darren Childs also said that UKTV was moving from challenger to contender.”
“Investment is key to our future growth. These results show that the more we put in, the more we get out, and I am delighted that so many of our original programmes are amongst our top titles and selling so well internationally. UKTV is changing its role in the market, moving to the front and centre of everyone’s attention whether they be producers, talent, advertisers, or, most importantly, viewers. We are becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity”, Childs added.