Lockdown sees UKTV increase network share in 2020 | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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Driven by high performing originals that saw viewers tuning in to enjoy nostalgic and archive programming, UKTV has announced that its channels and video-on-demand (VOD) service, UKTV Play, saw strong growth for share of commercial impacts (SOCI) and channel viewing through 2020.
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UKTV’s seven channel network grew its viewing share by 3.2% year-on-year to 4.63%, reaching over 18 million viewers a week with Dave, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Gold all growing channel share. The network achieved year-on-year share growth for adults, up 3.2% annually, 16-34s (+2.3%) and ABC1s (+5.3%). In addition, Dave (+3.0%), Drama (+9.6%), Gold (+1.7%), Eden (+2.9%) and Alibi (+7.1%) experienced growth, with Drama maintaining its position as the number one non-PSB owned channel in the UK.

The channel also grew its SOCI by 4% in 2020, up from 7.76% in 2019 to hit 8.07%. The network also grew its 16-34 SOCI from 5.61% to 5.82%. During the first lockdown, UKTV added over 0.9 SOCI points (16 March to 14 June compared with 6 Jan to 15 March) and broke its own SOCI record in May. In fact, six out of 10 of UKTV’s biggest ever SOCI months were in 2020.

Despite the pandemic temporarily pausing production, UKTV developed a number of popular original programmes which delivered the top five rating programmes on the network. These included the feature-length Red Dwarf: The Promised Land; Meet The Richardsons; Ricky & Ralf’s Very Northern Road Trip; and Bangers & Cash.

In what could be a hugely significant development for 2021 given the massive rise of such platforms in mobile video over the last year, the network also grew its social presence, launching Dave on TikTok and clocking up over 21 million views for its video content across social platforms, as well as doubling down on YouTube by reinvigorating its Dave YouTube channel.

UKTV Play grew its direct-to-consumer views by 42% in 2020 and increased registered users by 45% to 4.45million. The service is available on 21 platforms and across pay and free it is on target to achieve 243m views, which will be an increase of 17% on 2019’s total. Standout hits on the service included Red Dwarf: The Promised Land, The Bill: The Early Years, Meet The Richardsons, EastEnders and Hypothetical.

Assessing the company's performance in a year in which he said life was turned upside down, UKTV’s CEO Marcus Arthur said that he was incredibly proud of how the UKTV team came together during our first full year under BBC Studios ownership. “[We have] embraced UKTV’s unique challenger spirit to drive the business forward,” he said. “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.”