UKTV grows its share of the British TV advertising market to 9% following record Christmas

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6 January 2015

  • UKTV grew its total share of the advertising market to 9% in 2014, from 8.2% in 2013
  • The network achieved its highest ever full-year audience share, an increase of 8.5% vs 2013 according to BARB data
  • UKTV celebrated its most successful Christmas on record, beating Channel 5's full portfolio, with viewing up 3% year-on-year
  • General entertainment channel Dave retains its position as the most watched non-PSB channel in the UK

UKTV grew its share of the British TV advertising market to a record 9% in 2014, following increased investment in content and record viewer numbers coming to the network this Christmas.

Official BARB data* shows that the award winning media company - an independent joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Network Interactive Inc. (SNI:NY) - celebrated its most successful Christmas (22 Dec to 4 Jan), with viewing up 3% year-on-year and the network beating Channel 5's portfolio of channels by 2% during the festive period. Boxing Day (6.51%, up 4% year-on-year) and New Year's Day (6.7%, up 8% year-on-year) also broke all previous ratings records.

Gold was the most watched pay only channel across all platforms on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (excluding movie channels), and UKTV's new video on demand service, UKTV Play, posted a 169% increase in downloads over the Christmas period versus the previous two weeks, registering a 42% increase in views. The festive period was also particularly successful for Good Food (up by 106%), Really (up by 21%), Drama (up by 15%), Yesterday (up by 13%), Alibi (up by 9%) and Dave (up by 1%) which all enjoyed increased viewer numbers year on year.

Across the full year, UKTV also grew its average total viewing share by 8.5% on 2013's numbers when compared to the total broadcast market, making 2014 a fourth consecutive year of growth for the network. UKTV achieved a record-breaking total viewing share of 7% on 20 April, the highest ever recorded in the network's 22 year history. The month of April also marked UKTV's best ever month with a 5.37% share.

UKTV Chief Executive, Darren Childs says,

UKTV is bucking the market, growing its share of the UK commercial TV market to 9%, 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 so big a role in the ratings charts and our investment will continue in 2015.

UKTV's stellar performance was bolstered by individual channels outperforming previous years and stand out commissions achieving stand out ratings.

Popular entertainment channel Dave retained its position as the number one non-PSB channel in the UK with a 1.34% share (up 1 % year-on-year). The channel's growth, despite the absence of Dave Ja Vu on Freeview throughout the majority of 2014, was driven by smash hit commissions: Storage Hunters UK launched with 1.3 million individuals, 275% above slot average; Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish achieved a series average of 577k, up 80% on slot; Alan Davies as Yet Untitled average 414k, up 53%; and Rik Mayall's final on screen performance in Crackanory was up 36% on slot, attracting 442k viewers. The channel also celebrated its best Christmas ever with record ratings on Christmas Eve (1.67%, up 4% year-on-year), Boxing Day (1.82%, up 4% year-on-year) and New Year's Eve (1.51%, up 11% year-on-year).

Entertainment channel Really ended 2014 up 20% year-on-year with paranormal content such as Ghost Adventures, Paranormal Witness and Most Haunted popular with viewers. It also enjoyed its most successful festive period in the channel's history: Christmas Eve was up 24% year-on-year, Christmas Day up 69% year-on-year, Boxing Day up 32% and New Year's Day up 36%.

Gold, the nation's favourite comedy channel, achieved its highest ever overnight rating in July with the live broadcast of the Monty Python: One Down Five to Go show, which enticed nearly a million viewers. UKTV's flagship pay entertainment channel Watch also performed well with Dynamo: Magician Impossible, Grimm, Believe, Resurrection and The Strain all peaking with over half a million viewers.

Drama's first full year of broadcast saw the channel achieve a 0.78% share, breaking through the 1% share mark on 23 days and pulling in audiences of over half a million with popular shows such as New Tricks, Inspector George Gently and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

Crime drama channel Alibi also enjoyed a bumper year, achieving a 0.43% share, up 6% year-on-year, with Rizzoli and Isles and Castle continuing to pull in high volumes of viewers.

The record-breaking figures come at the end of a 12-month period in which UKTV has increased its investment in on screen content to £125 million and the network achieved its highest ever year-end revenue of £278m and EBITDA of £67.4m.

Upcoming 2015 highlights for UKTV's portfolio of channels include brand new commissions Hoff the Record, Undercover and Taskmaster on Dave, Singing in the Rainforest and World's Most Talented on Watch and Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man on Gold.

Source: Source BARB, All day, Channel share based on adults, programme data based on individuals consolidated. All channel data include +1. All Christmas period data Live +VOSDAL, 22/12/14 - 4/01/15 compared to 23/12/13 - 05/01/14. All year-end data consolidated up to the 28th of December


For more information please contact:

Kerry Parker, Head of Network Communications

Zoe Clapp, Communications Director, UKTV


About UKTV

UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers every 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 £278m, and EBITDA of £67.4m. It invested a record £125m 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 21st 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. / / @uktv_press