CBS UK channels see another record year

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Free-to-air channels CBS Reality – the UK’s #1 factual entertainment channel for women – along with CBS Justice, CBS Drama and Horror Channel – have announced another successful year of SOCI (share of commercial impacts2) growth for UK advertisers. The channel portfolio, owned by AMC Networks International – UK (AMCNI UK) and CBS Studios International, delivered 2.7 per cent of the UK’s adult commercial TV audience in 2018; a 4 per cent increase year on year. The overall UK audience share of the channels was 1.69 per cent in 2018, up from 1.58 per cent in 2017, according to official BARB data.

Kevin Dickie, EVP/MD, AMCNI UK, said: “The CBS UK channel portfolio enjoyed its strongest year on record. CBS Reality continues to dominate the market among women, driven by our outstanding original true crime series. CBS Justice, CBS Drama and, most notably, Horror Channel – which is the UK’s 2nd most-watched movie channel among men 25-54 – have all had remarkable audience growth, with viewers responding to our compelling line-up of drama series and horror, sci-fi and fantasy titles.”

Robert Haiat, SVP Business Development from CBS Studios International, added: “With another record breaking year behind the CBS UK channel portfolio, we’re excited to work together with the AMCNI team to drive further growth in 2019 and beyond. Our focus remains on delivering some of the most watched programming from the US while supporting CBS Reality’s successful original programming efforts.”

CBS Reality remains the #1 factual entertainment channel in the UK amongst its target audience of women 16+. The highest rating single broadcast in the channel’s history resulted in 322,800 adults watching an episode of “It Takes a Killer” on 30th March at 10pm. Four out of the top five highest rating individual broadcasts in channel history came in 2018, of which two were CBS Reality Original productions, “Evidence of Evil” and “Donal MacIntyre’s Murder Files”.

The channel’s Originals strategy continues to evolve in 2019 with a number of original true crime shows in the works. CBS Reality now produces at least six UK Originals per year including a number of returning series, co-created with production companies from the UK, Wales, Ireland and Canada. New episodes of “Evidence of Evil”, “Voice of a Killer” and “Murder by the Sea” launched in January, and another two returning series will be announced imminently.

In 2018, Horror Channel, CBS Justice (previously CBS Action) and CBS Drama experienced their fourth consecutive year of growth.

Horror Channel continued to be the second most watched free-to-air movie channel in the UK amongst men 25-54. An average of 6 million adults tuned in to the channel every month in 2018, resulting in a share of 0.43% – a 7.5% share growth year on year.

Horror Channel delivered the second and fourth highest rating movie transmissions in its history during June. Christine delivered 264,900 adults and John Carpenter’s Vampires drew 221,200 adults. Both of these movies were part of the John Carpenter season, the highest rating season on Horror Channel to date with an average of 171,000 adults across the movies shown during the month.

Upcoming movie premieres include Sinister, The Woman in Black, Red Lights, and Maggie, alongside iconic and popular sci-fi series such as “Star Trek: The Original Series”, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, “Earth: Final Conflict” and “Sliders”.

The recently rebranded CBS Justice audiences increased by 7% year on year with over four million adults tuning into the channel monthly. 2018 was the best ever year of audience delivery for the channel, resulting in a share of 0.43 per cent (5 per cent share growth year on year). The highest rating broadcast of the year came on 6th November when 164,200 adults watched an episode of “Scorpion” at 9pm.

2019 programming highlights on CBS Justice will include “NCIS”, “NCIS: Los Angeles”, “CSI: Miami”, “Scorpion” and “Diagnosis Murder”.

2018 was the best ever year of audience delivery for CBS Drama, resulting in a share of 0.15 per cent (15 per cent share growth year on year). The channel delivered an 11 per cent increase with over 2.8 million adults watching. “Medium” was the top performer, with one episode attracting 128,900 adults on 6th April at 9pm.

Content from all four channels is now also available via two new on-demand players, the recently announced Horror Bites and CBS Catchup Channels UK. The players launched in December 2018 on Freeview Play.


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