Lockdown boosts viewership for UKTV

Lockdown boosts viewership for UKTV

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Wednesday, 13th January 2021
Red Dwarf (Credit: UKTV)

UKTV has announced that its channels and UKTV Play saw strong growth for share of commercial impacts (SOCI) and channel viewing in 2020.

In 2020, UKTV’s network share grew by 3.2% to achieve 4.63%, reaching over 18 million viewers a week, and grew its SOCI by 4%.

UKTV Play increased direct-to-consumer views by 42%, with shows such as Red Dwarf: The Promised Land, The Bill: The Early Years, Meet The Richardsons, EastEnders and Hypothetical topping the VOD service.

UKTV’s CEO, Marcus Arthur, said: “At the start of last year no one could have predicted what was in store. The global pandemic turned life upside down and businesses were forced to quickly adapt and pivot to new ways of working. I’m incredibly proud of how the team came together during our first full year under BBC Studios ownership and embraced UKTV’s unique challenger spirit to drive the business forward.

"While the pandemic temporarily paused production, UKTV was uniquely positioned with an incredibly rich archive of content which has been a much-appreciated source of joy for our viewers. This, alongside our strong pipeline of Originals, helped to deliver growth across all metrics in 2020."

Red Dwarf: The Promised Land became Dave's most watched show in seven years, and Yorkshire classic car auction series Bangers & Cash became the highest rating show in Yesterday's history. 

Meet the Richardsons was the strongest launch of a brand-new original series on Dave in five years with 1.13 million viewers, We Hunt Together topped the ratings for Alibi, and Ricky & Ralf’s Very Northern Road Trip was Gold's highest performing show of the year.

Richard Watsham, UKTV’s Director of Commissioning, commented: “The March lockdown put a stop to almost all of UKTV’s productions, but since then the team have been working hard with our production partners to get every genre back up and running. We also focussed our creative energies on an important development period. 2021 will see our biggest ever investment in originations and we wanted to make sure that we were ready to go with our strongest slate yet."

New shows heading to UKTV in 2021 include new panel shows Mel Geidroyc: Unforgiveable and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled on Dave, plus new episodes of Big Zuu’s Big Eats.

The Architecture The Railways Built and Secrets of the Transport Museum will return to Yesterday, new episodes of Women on The Force and the second series of Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over on W, and Traces and We Hunt Together will return to Alibi later this year alongside the new UKTV Original Annika.

For more information about UKTV's network share in 2020, click here.

Credit: UKTV

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UKTV has announced that its channels and UKTV Play saw strong growth for share of commercial impacts (SOCI) and channel viewing in 2020.