Darren Childs, CEO of multi-channel programmer UKTV, has declared the service to be Britain’s fastest-growing broadcaster.
Speaking at UKTV Live, its annual showcase event, at the BFI in London, Childs noted that the company had grown impacts by 40 per cent since 2010, and was home to two of the largest non-PSBs. “UKTV is now responsible for 10 per cent of all commercial TV, he noted.
2016 has seen UKTV place additional emphasis on its VoD offerings via its UKTV Play service. “We’re getting serious about VoD,” he admitted, noting the benefit of driving uptake among its pay-TV platform affiliates, such as with UK quad-play operator Virgin Media, with the June 2106 introduction of an updated UKTV Play app on Virgin Media’s TiVo platform, allowing the operators customers to watch a wealth of catch-up and box-set titles from UKTV’s free-to-air channels Dave, Drama, Yesterday and Really.
“It feels great to be celebrating all the fantastic new shows we’ve been making with the guests here at BFI today. UKTV is investing heavily in great new programming and we have such riches here to show for it. A massive 73 per cent of the British population now watch our channels every month, and what’s really exciting is that UKTV Originals – which are all made by the fantastic talent and producers here today – are an enormous part of that success,” he said.
UKTV’s slate of autumn shows include the Amanda Holden-fronted I’ve Got Something To Tell You (W), Sir David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities (Eden), scripted comedy Zapped (Dave) starring James Buckley, a full series of Gold’s hit new sitcom Marley’s Ghosts starring Sarah Alexander, the new series of Red Dwarf XI for Dave, Richard E.Grant’s Ealing Comedies (Gold) and Dara O’Briain’s Go 8 Bit (Dave) as well as long-form interview show John Bishop: In Conversation With…
Premiering exclusively on UKTV Play will be every episode of the new series of Red Dwarf XI, available one week before it is screened on Dave. The first episode launches September 15. In addition, the first episode of series three of Taskmaster will be available first on UKTV Play in the autumn. Celebrity Storage Hunters can be seen on UKTV Play before anywhere else, with the first episode of Dave Gorman Modern Life Is Goodish also previewing on UKTV Play.