UKTV original content fuels record profits
James R | On 20, May 2015
UKTV has reported record profits after a year of investing in original content and on-demand viewing.
The fastest growing broadcaster in Britain, the commercial network spent £123m on original content in 2014, producing record ratings, revenue and profit as well as double-digit share growth.
Original 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 broadcaster’s commissioning power.
While other broadcasters fell by 3.7 per cent collectively, UKTV hit a high of 9 per cent SOCI (share of commercial impacts), bucking the market trend. 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.
The company has also invested in its own on-demand catch-up service, UKTV Play.
Titles such as the BAFTA-nominated Monty Python Live (Mostly) and Broadcasting Press Guild-winning Crackanory have driven VOD views across the network up 348 per cent in the past year.
Strong advertising revenues derived from the strong SOCI performance, meant UKTV booked record revenue of £283m last year, up from £278m in 2013.
Darren Childs, Chief Executive, says: “UKTV has now grown its share of the British commercial TV market to 9.4 per cent, 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.
“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.”