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Discovery UK draws record audience in Q1

April 29, 2019

Discovery UK has delivered its strongest ever quarter in Q1 2019, growing its audience (aged 16+) by 14 per cent year-on-year to 3.13 per cent (including the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive). This was closely followed by the portfolio’s strongest Easter performance with adult share up 8 per cent year-on-year to nearly 4 per cent.

Quest Red enjoyed its best ever quarter in Q1, up 19 per cent year-on-year for adult share. In 2019 the channel also had its best week (wk7), and best month (Feb) ever with strong ratings for My 600lb Life (hitting 5 of 10 of Quest’s Red top ratings year-to-date and pulling in a high of 186k). Katie Price also continued to attract strong audiences in April with Katie Price: My Crazy Life s3 averaging 191k and drawing record numbers to QuestOD.

Discovery Channel remains the #1 pay-factual channel and grew its peak time adult share by 11 per cent year-on-year. It also grew share of 16-34s by 14 per cent year-on-year. Performance was driven by new episodes of core franchises Gold Rush and Wheeler Dealers which hit rating highs of 578k and 343k respectively. New Ed Stafford commission First Man Out was a breakout success improving slot average by 71 per cent.  According to YouGov popularity rankings, Discovery Channel is the #1 most popular paid-for TV Channel in the UK.

DMAX has performed well in free-to-air since replacing Travel Channel in January, up 18 per cent year-on-year. March was the best month in either channel’s history with DMAX averaging 0.34 adult share and seeing record ratings for Alaskan survivalist series Life Below Zero which hit 154k. The channel’s move into adult animation has helped it skew younger, with Archer and Bojack Horseman averaging 20 per cent for 16-34 profile.

TLC maintains its position as the #6 pay entertainment channel for ABC1 women in 2019. One-off special Vicky Pattison: The Break Up attracted 361k viewers in January and became TLC’s biggest ever rating for women, while local commission Say Yes to The Dress Lancashire with Gok Won has broken 200k for each episode. Hit global TLC show Dr. Pimple Popper broke the 300k barrier in its second series and grew 18 per cent from season one.

TLC has also found a big fan base in digital – TLC UK YouTube celebrated a record-breaking quarter, hitting 327 million views (62 per cent 18-34) ranking among the top-3 most viewed UK Entertainment Creators for the entirety of Q1. It also gained 23 per cent new subscribers in the last quarter, taking total subscribers to 2.6 million.

The EFL Highlights Show continued to deliver strong ratings in its first season on Quest, hitting a high of 409k on January 12th and smash-hit franchise Salvage Hunters continued to attract huge audiences in its thirteenth series averaging audiences of 500k.

The Eurosport portfolio grew its Q1 share of ABC1 men by 8 per cent year-on-year. Helping to bolster ratings was the introduction of the BDO World Darts Championship which hit a peak audience of 256k, ranking as Eurosport’s best darts performance.

Discovery UK had its best ever Easter with adult share up 8 per cent year-on-year to 4 per cent. Quest Red also had its strongest Easter, up 14 per cent year-on-year with Katie Price: My Crazy Life leading the ratings hitting 154k on Easter Monday at 22:00. Quest took a 1 per cent share of adult viewing over Easter, up 11 per cent year-on-year with Salvage Hunters driving the channel’s ratings and hitting a high of 299k. The EFL Highlights also performed strongly on Quest averaging 279k on Good Friday.

James Gibbons, EVP GM Discovery UK/ANZ and Head of Commercial Development EMEA, said: “It’s been a fantastic start to the year for Discovery’s UK business. Our portfolio share is up – our long running franchises and local commissions are performing strongly across our channels.  We are delighted that fans are enjoying the wide breadth of content on offer across our portfolio.”


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