UKTV makes another free-to-air move

UKTVUKTV is moving its Home channel from pay to free TV.

Home will replace Dave Ja Vu, the Dave +1 channel, on the UK digital terrestrial platform, with that service moving to a new, as yet unspecified, free TV slot.

The Scripps Networks Interactive- and BBC Worldwide-owned channels group said the homes and garden service will launch on free-to-air digital on March 1.

Home will join UKTV channels Dave, Dave Ja Vu, Drama, Really and Yesterday as free-TV offerings.

Its pay TV line-up now comprises W, Alibi, Gold, Eden and Good Food.

Scripps, which is rumoured to want to take control of UKTV, has built a business in pay TV, but market watchers suggested today that UKTV is keen to look at further opportunities in free-to-air, marking a strategic shift.

The Home channel launched in 2009, replacing UKTV Style. As it moves from pay to free TV, it will take shows including My Dream Derelict Home, Escape to the Country, A Place in the Sun: Home Or Away and Nick Knowles’ Original Features with it.

Emma Ayech, general manager, Home, said: “Moving Home in to free-to-air households gives a greater reach to our channel, offering more viewers the opportunity to watch our great roster of much-loved shows fronted by big name talent.”

UKTV says its family of channels has delivered more eyeballs than the Channel 5 or Sky-branded channels family in 2015.