Multi-channel operator UKTV has boosted its content ambitions with the hiring of a new executive tasked with securing funding for more original commissions.
The broadcaster, which owns ten channels including Dave, W and GOLD, has been steadily moving away from back catalogue acquisitions in favour of original UK commissions and first-run major US imports in recent years.
Hits have included the revival of Red Dwarf, Simon Callow’s sitcom The Rebel and political satire Unspun with Matt Forde, and the broadcaster recently announced it has co-commissioned Flack, starring Oscar winner Anna Paquin.
In recent years UKTV, which is co-owned by BBC Worldwide and Discovery, has also experimented with advertiser funding shows, including a cookery show backed by P&O Cruises.
Now it’s appointed ITV executive Ronan Hand as director of programme funding, a new role in which Hand will be responsible for identifying new commercial and co-production partnerships to fund further commissions.
Simon Michaelides, UKTV’s chief commercial officer, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Ronan to UKTV.
“He has a glowing reputation, a keen editorial eye, and a wealth of experience across multiple genres, all of which make him ideally suited to help us realise our ambitions as an originator of differentiated content.
“At UKTV we value creativity, collaboration, and the ability to challenge the status quo.
“These are precisely the skills that Ronan has built his reputation on, and we look forward to him putting them into practice at UKTV.”
Speaking of his new role, Hand said: “UKTV has been a company whose work I’ve admired during my time working in the TV industry and when the opportunity arose to join them in this role it felt a great fit.
“I’m very much looking forward to bringing my energy and passion to their team and helping create more great content for UKTV’s dedicated audiences.”