Dave, the UK’s number one non-Public Service Broadcaster (PSB) channel, will lead UKTV’s move into licensing, following its recent partnership with Evolution Europe & Rizon Studios Creative. The channel attracts over 26 million viewers per month and is available to pay and free-TV viewers, as well as via YouView and VoD platforms. Now UKTV is extending the Dave brand off-screen to provide loyal viewers with merchandise and events that extol the characteristics of the television channel.
When Dave launched as TV’s ‘home of witter banter’ in 2007, it was an instant hit with viewers, becoming the tenth largest television channel in the UK within just one month. The channel’s popularity continues to grow; this year it is enjoying a significant boost in its share of viewers year-on year (up 22 per cent).
The move into licensing forms part of UKTV’s ongoing strategy to expand on the awareness of the network’s key brands. Bespoke national-representative research for Dave recently revealed that when asked which non-PSB channel people would choose to keep out of all the free channels, Dave came out top.
The unique creative and licensing agreement will capitalise on the existing public consciousness and success of UKTV’s brands. Evolution Europe & Rizon Studios Creative will review the full stable of IP within UKTV and create a comprehensive strategy to take the multi-channel network brand and content to market. Rizon will devise and deliver materials and style guides, while Evolution Europe will present the collateral to potential licensees and DTR partners.
Colin Thomas, Strategy Manager, UKTV said: “As UKTV continues to invest in original content and our portfolio of IP grows, we are looking to expand the network’s successful channel and programming brands outside of traditional revenue streams, with merchandise being the next logical step commercially. This opens the door to new and exciting opportunities – beginning with the hugely popular Dave, a brand that resonates clearly with consumers.”
General Manager, Dave, Steve North said “Dave has become a household name with witty and irreverent shows that really resonate with viewers. I am looking forward to offering our audience fun and original products that capture the feel of their favourite channel and reflect Dave’s brand values.”
Managing Director of Rizon, Dave Collins, who brokered the deal said
“Rizon Studios is delighted to be working with UKTV. In our discussions with the company it has become clear that our shared vision, creative passion and drive for innovation will forge a strong, successful and creative partnership. Rizon is delighted to be helping UKTV take this step in to the world of licensing.”
The announcement comes after UKTV revealed it is on course to invest a record £110 million in original content in 2013 across its network of 10 channels. Dave has recently commissioned a whole raft of brand new series including Crackanory, Ross Noble Freewheeling, Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish and Spending Dave’s Money. The channel’s continuing success has contributed to UKTV’s overall SOCI (share of commercial impact) figure, which hit an all-time high of 9.17 per cent of the total market in August and the network recently reported record-breaking year-end revenue of £262 million.