The BBC is to rebrand its UK commercial channels under a new ‘masterbrand’ with viewers expected to see the changes on screen by the summer of 2024.
In addition to its Licence Fee funded channels the broadcaster owns a portfolio of advert-funded and subscription channels, including Gold, Drama, Eden, Yesterday and Dave, plus the UKTV Play streaming service.
Next year will see UKTV Play rebranded to ‘U’ and the names of the free to air channels prefaced by ‘U&’ – for example, Drama will become U&Drama and Dave will become U&Dave.
The firm’s subscription channels will then be rebranded in the same style “at a later date”.
According to UKTV, the BBC company which operates the channels, the rebrand will support its “ambitious growth strategy” which is focussed on “supercharging” its streaming service and growing its linear channels, including through the introduction of new streaming (FAST) channels.
The existing UKTV Play app has enjoyed significant growth this year, coinciding with the introduction of High Definition to the service alongside greater numbers of boxsets for viewers to watch.
Pennny Brough, UKTV’s Chief Marketing Officer, said: “We want to make sure our audiences can enjoy the full value of our free and wonderfully diverse offer, so we’re making it easier for them to navigate.
“U is the glue that enables us to do this: it means we go to market with a bold, simple and distinctive identity for our streaming service.
“U makes it easy for people to connect the dots between the streaming service and our family of TV channels – all while keeping hold of each channel’s unique personality and fame. This is now a family that’s fit for a digital future. It’s simple, but still full of personality because it’s all about U.”