History Channel Posts Record-Breaking Ratings Year in U.K.

Hit shows include "Pawn Stars" and "Storage Wars" for the channel, a joint venture between A+E Networks and BSkyB.

LONDON – History and Bio U.K. channels, operated by factual entertainment media company A+E Networks UK, a joint venture between A+E Networks and BSkyB, both powered to their highest-rating year ever in 2012.

History hit its stride in the U.K. in 2012 with overall ratings up 35 percent on the back of hit shows including Pawn Stars and Storage Wars.

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The uptick marks back-to-back record-breaking years for History Channel, A+E Networks said.

Bio Channel also posted growth over the past 12 months with ratings up 34 per cent in 2012 on the previous year.

A+E Networks U.K. managing director Tom Davidson said: “With such impressive ratings the real challenge will be to break our records again, but I believe we have the right team and the right content to continue our impressive growth.”

The company also noted History U.K.'s success was matched in Poland and South Africa with the channel recording its best ever year in both territories.

In Poland the channel’s ratings increased a massive 219 percent on the previous year with Pawn Stars proving the biggest draw for viewers.

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In South Africa it was Storage Wars again that drew the channel’s biggest audience and helped increase ratings across the network by 45 percent.

Crime & Investigation Network is also pulling in bigger audiences in South Africa after the channel moved to pole position in the factual section of the MultiChoice EPG, increasing its ratings 32 percent in the last quarter of 2012.

Adam MacDonald, vp of programming at A+E Networks UK, added: "Our entire portfolio is enjoying record growth and with fantastic new series coming up in the schedules including Miracle Rising: South Africa and Counting Cars on History, Dance Moms on Bio and Gangs of Britain with Gary & Martin Kemp on Crime & Investigation Network, we fully expect 2013 will prove even more popular with our viewers.”