UKTV’s W goes FTA
March 21, 2022
By Colin Mann
Multichannel commercial broadcaster UKTV is taking its premium entertainment channel ‘W’ free-to-air and making it available on its direct-to-consumer VoD service UKTV Play.
Launching on March 28th in Freeview slot 25, viewers will have access to a number of popular UKTV Originals for free, including new upcoming shows Alex Jones: Making Babies, Rochelle Humes: Interior Designer in the Making, Nurses on the Ward and Dating With My Mates, alongside new series of returning favourites Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over (pictured), MasterChef USA, Australia and Canada, and Inside the Ambulance. Viewers will also have the chance to see Emma Willis: Delivering Babies and Myleene Klass’s acclaimed documentary Myleene Klass: Miscarriage and Me for the first time.
“We are thoroughly delighted to be bringing W’s brilliant original content featuring some of the best-known talent in the UK alongside heroes of everyday society, to a much wider audience wherever they want to watch or stream,” commented W’s channel director, Adam Collings. “We’re looking forward to showcasing the genuine human moments embodying W’s new mantra ‘Life Unfiltered’ and can’t wait to share W’s rich mix of shows filled with joy, tears and laughter with our new a free-to-air audience.”
“We are confident that we’ve spotted a gap in the free-to-air market for W to fill; providing premium entertainment for people with busy lives who want to engage with shows that shine a spotlight on personal stories from everyday lives,” added Steve North, UKTV’s genre general manager for comedy and entertainment. “W’s launch on UKTV’s direct-to-consumer VoD service, UKTV Play, will also mean that shows are more accessible than ever.”
Coinciding with the switch to free-to-air, W is rebranding and repositioning itself as the home of genuine human moments, leading with the tagline, ‘Life Unfiltered’ to connect with its female skewing 25-44 target audience.
On launch, full closed captions will be available on 100 per cent of W programming via Freeview and UKTV Play, continuing UKTV’s ongoing mission to increase accessibility on all content. In the first month after the switch to free-to-air, viewers will be able to watch new episodes of Inside the Ambulance, Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over S3 and Nurses on the Ward S1, as well as the chance to watch the first two series of Emma Willis Delivering Babies, Emma Willis & AJ Odudu Get to Work S1 and Women on the Force for the first time on Freeview and UKTV Play.
From March 28th, viewers can watch W on Freeview, Freesat and UKTV Play, and it remains available to Virgin Media and Sky subscribers.