Channel provider UKTV reported double-digit growth in 2015 and said that Dave and Drama are now the two top rating non-public service channels in the UK.
In its 2015 financial report, UKTV said that the share of commercial impacts (SOCI) of its TV stations hit an all-time high of 9.31% in 2015, putting it ahead of Channel 5 and Sky’s portfolios for the first time, with Dave and Drama its top performing channels.
“In the closing weeks of 2015 our SOCI was 9.27%,” said UKTV controller Emma Tennant. “To give you a comparison, Sky’s wholly owned channels reached 9.25% and Channel 5’s portfolio hit 9.26%.”
UKTV added that it had SOCI growth of 29% over five years, fuelled by strong channel performances, which in turn drove significant ad revenue increases last year.
UKTV reported record highs for both revenues and earnings in 2015. Revenues climbed 13% to £319 million (US$456 million) and EBITDA increased 10% to hit £82 million as “investment in content and distribution, coupled with strong financial discipline, reaped reward”. Operating profit also climbed 10.1% to £79.6 million.
“That’s helping our reputation as a credible and successful investor in creativity go from strength to strength. UKTV has had market-beating growth again this year, taking the business to the next level. As investment increases, I’m confident this year will see yet more significant growth for this vibrant business.”
In 2015 UKTV said that it spent more than £148 million on content, up from £123 million a year earlier, with “even more new and exclusive content planned in 2016.”
In the online space, views of UKTV’s video-on-demand service, UKTV Play, increased by 26% last year with UKTV adding Drama to the service and launching it on several platforms and devices, including Android, BT TV, Amazon Fire and Fire TV Stick.
“With UKTV Play set to join Freeview Play, and more lifestyle content being added to the service later this year, our shows will be even more accessible to viewers in 2016,” said UKTV.