Investment in content drives record ratings, revenue and profit for UKTV
British network announces double-digit share and profit growth
19 May 2015
UKTV's focus on investment in exclusive and original programming generated record ratings, revenue and profit in 2014.
Officially the fastest growing broadcaster in Britain, UKTV's £123m investment in content produced strong growth in commercial impacts and in its on demand services.
UKTV is now vying for the title of top non-PSB broadcaster, as award-winning channel Dave maintained its position as the most watched non-PSB channel in the country, while Drama was the most successful British TV channel launch in five years.
Overall, 2014's commercial impacts show that while other broadcasters fell by 3.7% collectively, UKTV hit a high of 9% SOCI, up 9.4% from 2013, bucking the market trend.
The home of BAFTA-nominated Monty Python Live (Mostly) and Broadcasting Press Guild-winning Crackanory has also seen strong growth of UKTV Play, its on demand service, as the company invests in expansion of its business beyond traditional, linear broadcasting.
Strong advertising revenues derived from a strong SOCI (share of commercial impacts) performance, meant UKTV booked record revenue of £283m last year (2013 £278m) and saw a 10% increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) at £74.1m (2013 £67.4m).
Original British programmes such as Storage Hunters UK and Dave Gorman: Modern Life is Goodish were amongst the network's top performing titles, demonstrating the increasing strength of the British broadcaster's commissioning power and helping the network to achieve its record performance in 2014.
On the back of its strongest ever year, the business continues to build on record-breaking results with SOCI hitting an all-time high of 9.4% in the first quarter of 2015. In turn, that has allowed UKTV - an independent joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI:NY) - to invest even more in standout original content in addition to its rich collection of British and overseas acquisitions.
Darren Childs, Chief Executive, said:
UKTV has now grown its share of the British commercial TV market to 9.4%, making our portfolio of channels vital for advertisers. This is the first time in the history of British television that a non-PSB channels business has played such a big role in the ratings, but expect much more from us. This is just the groundwork to ensure long term, future success for UKTV.
"We are significantly increasing our investment in brilliant content, both in what we spend on our outstanding UK originations and in our enviable collection of 'best in class' acquisitions from BBC as well as from C4, ITV and overseas. We pay relentless attention to our ever-increasing reach and distribution, ensuring modern British viewers can enjoy our vibrant channels and imaginative shows, whichever kind of television provision and technology they have: free, pay or online only."
Jan Gooze-Zijl, Chief Financial and Operations Officer said:
Our strategy of focused investment in content and channels that viewers love is paying off in our financial results. In 2014 we generated record levels of revenue (£283m) and we increased EBITDA by 10% to achieve an all-time high of £74.1m. In 2015 we are substantially increasing our investment in content beyond the 2014 levels of £123m and already we are delivering year on year market share growth in our viewing.
- 2014 revenues highest ever at £283m (2013 £278m)
- Earnings before interest taxation depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) highest ever at £74.1m (2013 £67.4m) up 10%
- Operating profit highest ever at £72.2m (2013 £66.2m) up 9.1%
- Investment in content and content support £123m
- SOCI numbers for 2014 highest ever at 9.0% (2013 8.2%)
- Four of the top 10 most watched shows across all of UKTV's channels were original commissions - they include Storage Hunters UK, Monty Python Live (Mostly), Dynamo: Magician Impossible and Dave Gorman: Modern Life is Goodish
- Award-nominated on demand service, UKTV Play helps all on demand views across the network grow 348% in 2014 v 2013
- UKTV designed, and relocated to, bespoke workspace in London's TV Triangle
- Investment in brand new technological infrastructure throughout business
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UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches 42 million viewers a month.
UKTV's eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food - include the most popular non-PSB channel in the UK and account for 9% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £283m and EBITDA of £74.1m. It invested £123m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.
UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.
Now celebrating its 22nd year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British television broadcaster to be recognised by Best Companies.