On the heels of the company releasing their financial results for the very first time, UKTV has announced that they are on track to invest £110 million on content this year. That marks a record for the company and represents an increase of £10 million on the budget of £100 million that was previously announced in January of this year.
“Strong revenue and profits are paving the way for UKTV’s creative ambition to come to life”, said Darren Childs, Chief Executive Officer of UKTV. “It’s fantastic news for viewers and suppliers that we will devote a record £110m of investment on screen, and provide audiences with compelling, original commissions and acquisitions through our network of vibrant channels.”
The increased content budget, already signalled by the recent commission of their first original drama series titled Legion for Watch, will be spent on both commissions and acquisitions. With recent commissions having included Yes, Prime Minister and You, Me And Them for GOLD, while the company has remained an aggressive buyer of international content, having recently acquired the TNT drama series King & Maxwell and renewed licensing deals for Castle, Suits and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.
Said increase was made possible by the company’s strong performance in 2012; with audience figures up 10% on 2011 and the company posting revenue of £262 million and an operating profit of £71 million, representing a profit margin of 27%. Last month, the SOCI (share of commercial impact) figure hit an all time high, with UKTV taking 9.17% of the total market in August. The growth has also been driven by the launch of VOD services, HD variants, strong international sales and the launch of the company’s Drama channel, which has grown its audience by 40% since launch.
With said growth, UKTV’s Dave is now the largest non PSB channel in the UK, placing ahead of Sky1, Pick TV and Sky Sports 1. The company also said that they now reach 42 million viewers every month, a figure that CEO Darren Childs recently said was larger than HBO’s audience in the United States. With the strong financial results, UKTV said it will continue to invest in content, channels and digital.