by Stuart Kemp
The multi-channel network operator owned by BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive ends 2012 with a two percent uptick in pay-TV viewing share.
LONDON – UKTV, the multi-channel network operator owned by BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, ended 2012 with a record-breaking month to end a record-breaking year. The network, home to Boston cop drama series Rizzoli & Isles, Beauty and the Beast (the drama starring Kristin Kreuk) and Haunted Highway, said official end of year broadcast monitor data from BARB indicated it's been a good year for the company and its bouquet of digital channels.
The 10 channel network posted greater percentage growth than any other U.K. TV network and its best performance since UKTV’s birth with a 4.43 percent share, up 10 percent compared to 2011.
The network delivered SOCI (Share of Commercial Impacts) growth every month, including during an Olympics-filled August, with end of year SOCI at 8 percent.
2012 also marked the launch of UKTV's on demand services in the fourth quarter -- Dave, Yesterday and Really -- and, combined with services on digital TBT Vision and Sky On Demand, total UKTV digital views topped three million.
The holiday season proved successful for UKTV with the network achieving its highest ever Boxing Day share with 5.83 percent (up 15 percent year-on-year).
December was also UKTV’s best ever performing month, with an average share of 4.72 percent (up four percent year-on-year) while week 52 in December was UKTV’s highest rating week of 2012 with a 5.21 percent share and a strong performance by comedy channel Gold.
UKTV CEO Darren Childs said: "UKTV is a growth story: in every month of 2012 we’ve achieved record growth, outperforming the market, and delivering our programs to record numbers of viewers. I’m looking forward to building on UKTV’s success in 2013, when our viewers will see the result of further content spend on screen and a number of brand new commissions will premiere across the network."
The growth comes on the back of a 12-month period where the company's move into original commissions in addition to acquisitions helped bolster viewing figures.
The premiere episode of Dynamo: Magician Impossible on pay channel Watch conjured up UKTV’s highest rating with 2.1 million viewers, followed closely by the premiere of Red Dwarf X on Dave with 2.09 million viewers.
Comedy channel Gold laughed it up after UKTV’s multi-million dollar investment in comedy with original commissions such as The Comic Strip Presents: Five Go To Rehab and Bring Me Morecambe and Wise, both featuring stellar talent and attracting large audiences.
Lifestyle channel Good Food achieved its highest audience of the year with commission Hairy Bikers Mississippi Adventure which attracted 163,000 viewers to its debut episode.