UKTV set for record viewership in 2016 | Broadcast | News | Rapid TV News
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Britain’s biggest multichannel broadcaster UKTV is predicting it will register record-breaking growth in commercial audiences (SOCI) across the last 12 months.

UKTV 5 Jan 2017The home of Dave, UKTV Play and Gold is projecting 7.7% growth of its SOCI, which would lead to consolidated share of commercial viewership hitting an all-time high of 9.87%. This would put it ahead of Channel 5’s full portfolio and all of Sky’s wholly-owned channels (including movies and sport) for the second year running, as well as closing the gap with the ITV Digital channels group.

UKTV believes that its strategy of bolstering schedules with bold, original programming continues to deliver results for the broadcaster, with viewing share up 7.3% in 2016. Leading the commissioning drive was Dave whose UKTV Originals brought in strong profile audiences, taking eight of the top ten slots in the channel’s ratings list for 2016 and bringing millions of users into TV on-demand service UKTV Play.

In what it calls a significant shift, six of the top ten rating shows on UKTV’s network in 2016 were UKTV originals, compared to only one in 2010. The broadcaster also worked with twice as many independent production companies in 2016 than in 2015, reinforcing, it said, its position as a significant investor in the UK creative industry.

Commenting on the stats, UKTV’s CEO, Darren Childs, said: “UKTV's focus on content, brand and digital has grown audiences to almost 10% of all commercial TV viewing. In 2016 we broadened into new genres and built the popularity of programming such as Taskmaster, Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit and live sport. UKTV Play also grew VOD viewing by 74%, with more viewers coming in to our vibrant TV on demand service than ever before.”