UKTV’s record-breaking year puts it neck and neck with the competition

uktv five years viewing

Tuesday 5 January 2016

  • UKTV's SOCI (share of commercial impacts) hit an all-time high of 9.27% (YTD 26th Dec 2015)
  • The network's 2015 SOCI is neck and neck with both Sky branded channels and the Channel 5 portfolio
  • UKTV's share of viewing has grown by 30% in five years according to official BARB data (2010, 3.99% - 2015, 5.27%)
  • 2015 was UKTV's most successful Christmas on record, including the network's highest daily share
  • Original commissions Storage Hunters UK Celebrity Special and Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish top UKTV's output
  • UKTV Play saw a 26% increase in views year on year

UKTV is celebrating its most successful year after record-breaking viewing puts it neck and neck with Channel 5's full portfolio and all of Sky's wholly-owned channels, including movies and sport, for the first time.

In 2015 UKTV grew its share to 5.27% (from 5.08% in 2014) and as of the 26th December it delivered 9.27% SOCI (share of commercial impacts), putting it marginally ahead of the Channel 5 portfolio (9.26%) and Sky branded channels (9.25%), in a race to the finish line.

UKTV's increased investment in original programming has contributed to the network's record-breaking viewing in 2015, up 3.7% year on year. Official Barb data* shows that smash hit commissions Storage Hunters UK Celebrity Special and Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish were UKTV's highest rating programmes of 2015, helping to propel UKTV - an independent joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Network Interactive Inc. (SNI:NY) - to its fifth consecutive year of growth. Since 2010 the network has increased its viewing share by 30%.

Christmas was cause for further celebration, with the network powering past Channel 5's portfolio with a 6.63% share versus 5.9%, to celebrate its best festive period in the company's history, up 11.4% year on year. Sunday 27 December broke all records and propelled UKTV to its highest daily share ever, 7.62% and the network enjoyed its most successful Boxing Day (6.69%), New Year's Eve (6.94%) and New Year's Day (6.91%). UKTV Play also had a very successful Christmas period with a 66% increase in app downloads in December versus November.

UKTV's chief financial and operations officer Jan Gooze-Zijl, said,

UKTV's success is because we have taken risks and experimented with our content mix, ensuring viewers needs are at the heart of everything we do. For the first time in our history we are on a par with both Sky and Channel 5's full portfolios which is testament to the hard work of all 270 staff members based here in Hammersmith.

Brand statistics

UKTV's original commissions have helped drive this growth, with North One's Storage Hunters UK Celebrity Special on Dave taking the crown for the network's best performing show of the year (834k viewers - part consolidated). It narrowly beat Liberty Bell's critically-acclaimed Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, which has consistently grown its audience over the course of its three series run and in 2015 its highest rating episode attracted 739k viewers. Further UKTV originals that have significantly contributed to UKTV's success include: Taskmaster, Alan Davies As Yet Untitled on Dave, The Interviews, Marley's Ghosts and Bob Monkhouse: Million Joke Man on Gold and Most Haunted Live on Really.

The individual performances of UKTV's portfolio of 10 channels and VoD service UKTV Play, have also contributed to the network's upward growth trend.

Dave, UKTV's flagship free-to-air entertainment channel, retained its place as the number one non-PSB channel in the UK and grew by 1% year on year. Brand new comedy gameshow Taskmaster, fronted by comedians Greg Davies and Alex Horne, proved a hit, attracting 539k viewers to its highest rating episode. The show's mix of banter and outlandish tasks quickly propelled it to cult status and two further series are in the works for later this year. Emmy award-nominated The Last Man on Earth was the highest rating acquisition on Dave, with its best rating episode attracting 596k adults.

Drama had a stellar year and increased its share of viewing by 24% to 0.97%, making it the number two non-PSB channel in the UK behind Dave. The channel hit 1% share on 147 occasions and exceeded half a million viewers nine times with popular shows New Tricks, The Pinkertons and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. Alibi, the home of the best British and US crime drama, also celebrated its most successful year since launch, up 5% year on year to 0.45% share, the highest in the channel's history. Returning crime duo Rizzoli & Isles delivered its best ever audience with 731k viewers, to make it Alibi's second highest rating show since the channel's inception.

Britain's favourite comedy channel Gold launched a raft of original scripted and non-scripted programming with sitcom Marley's Ghosts, starring John Hannah, Sarah Alexander and Jo Joyner, proving popular with viewers, attracting 432k viewers to its first episode. Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man premiered with 416k viewers, up 337% on slot and definitive autobiographical series The Interviews entertained a peak audience of 243k (up 95% on slot).

Leading real-life TV channel Really saw a 13% year on year increase to 0.54% share. Original commission Most Haunted Live attracted 529k viewers, propelling Really to its best ever daily share at 1.27%. Good Food also had an outstanding year, up 41% year on year to 0.17% share.

The broadcaster's on demand service UKTV Play also grew its presence in the VoD market significantly in 2015. UKTV saw a 26% increase in views year on year, plus a 175% increase in iOS app downloads (January 2015 vs December 2015 month on month). This success was driven by high-performing UKTV originals such as Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, Taskmaster and Most Haunted Live, and launches on a number of new platforms such as Amazon Fire TV.


Editors Notes

*Stats Measurement All data BARB Adults 16+ Consolidated data up to the 28th December 2015

SOCI based YTD up to 26th Dec 2015

Christmas period 21st Dec - 3rd Jan 2016. Live+VOSDAL data

For more information contact:

Kerry Parker, Head of Network Communications

Lara Feinstein, Corporate Communications Executive

About UKTV

UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches 42 million viewers a month.

UKTV's 11 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. / / @uktv_press