Scripps, BBC Worldwide British Networks Venture UKTV Posts Audience Share Uptick

King and Maxwell Still - H 2013

King and Maxwell Still - H 2013

Official figures indicate the TV network, U.K. home to J.J. Abrams’ supernatural drama "Believe" and an upcoming series of "Dynamo: Magician Impossible," also grew its ratings in 2013.

LONDON – UKTV, a British TV networks joint venture of lifestyle channels firm Scripps Networks Interactive and BBC Worldwide, has boosted audience share and delivered record ratings in 2013, according to official end-of-year BARB data reports.

The network hit an average share of 4.67 percent across the year in the U.K., a 5 percent uptick on 2012's numbers.

The joint venture also trumpeted the fact on Thursday that its SOCI (share of commercial impacts) also grew, delivering a share of over 8.2 percent, building on 2012's record figure.

Viewing numbers for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day also broke all previous ratings records for the network and viewing increased by 86 percent over last year across all of UKTV’s VOD platforms.

UKTV chief executive Darren Childs said: "UKTV has enjoyed three successive years of viewership growth, and achieving over 8.2 percent of all commercial impacts in the U.K. last year puts our business at terrestrial levels of viewership, reaching 42 million viewers every month."

The holiday season was particularly successful for the broadcaster, with Christmas Day achieving its highest-ever share of total viewing at 5.49 percent, up 21 percent over 2012, with a mix of original commissions, bold acquisitions and a treasure trove of BBC content.

December 26, known here as Boxing Day and a public holiday, also saw a ratings boost of 2 percent year over year. Viewing on New Year’s Eve rose 17 percent and New Year’s Day rocketed 42 percent.

The holiday boost meant December 2013 became UKTV’s most-watched month on record, averaging a 5.35 percent viewing share, up 14 percent over December 2012 while week 52 was UKTV’s highest-rated week ever, attracting a 5.8 percent share, up 12 percent on the same week in 2012.

UKTV, describing December as a "bumper month," pointed to the rise as contributing to the increase in SOCI with the network predicted to achieve a record-breaking commercial impact share of 9.6 percent when it gets totaled up.

UKTV is behind such British channels as male-centric Dave, general entertainment network Watch, Drama, comedy channel Gold, history-inspired entertainment channel Yesterday, Home and Good Food.

The company says it reaches 42 million viewers per month with its 10 channels, some of which are free-to-air,. while others are only available with a pay TV subscription.