NBCU’s flagship UK channel is getting a (slightly) different name. Effective today, Universal Channel will now be known as Universal TV. The move is part of a global refresh for the channel brand, which is slowly being rolled out over the coming months.
The refresh includes a new brand identity across all linear, digital and social platforms – including a new logo, typeface and fresh colour palette. That said, the channel’s evolved brand proposition will continue “to highlight that characters are at the heart of great storytelling”.
The character driven programming push has seen Universal acquire such shows as Gone, The Resident and The Dissapearance in recent months. Gone in particular has been a strong performer; ranking as the top-rated premiere on the channel since Sleepy Hollow in 2013. Universal is also home to such shows as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Chicago Med. The UK channel is ranked in the top 10 pay-TV channels.
“Universal TV’s reinvigorated identity best positions our flagship brand into the future as a relevant, compelling destination for fans of character-driven programming”, said Lee Raftery, Chief Marketing & Content Officer and Managing Director UK & Emerging Markets, NBCUniversal International. “In making this latest investment in Universal – combined with the raft of top-quality shows we have recently acquired – we’re reinforcing our commitment to delivering a must-watch destination for affiliate partners and viewers, alike.”
The new name comes awfully close to clashing with that of another unit under the NBCU umbrella: Universal Television – the studio behind the vast majority of NBCU owned shows, including the Law & Order and Chicago franchises. This brand refresh was developed via a collaboration between NBCUniversal International Networks’ Central Marketing team, the award-winning creative agency Red Bee – who established the brand positioning, brand logo and creative concept – and world-renowned brand consultant Lee Hunt. Specialist contributions were provided by Dalton Maag (typeface design studio), Future Deluxe (directed and produced brand idents motion) and Zelig Sound (music and sound design).