UKTV, the multi-channel broadcaster owned by the BBC’s commercial arm, has confirmed rumours that its W channel will be going free-to-air on Monday 28th March.
The channel will be available to Freesat and Freeview viewers as well as to users of the UKTV Play streaming app who will be able to watch a range of original commissions including Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over, MasterChef USA, Australia and Canada, and Inside the Ambulance.
To coincide with the move, channel bosses have unveiled a new logo and “Life Unfiltered” strapline which they say will help the channel connect with its female skewing 25-44 target audience.
W’s channel director, Adam Collings, said: “We are thoroughly delighted to be bringing W’s brilliant original content featuring some of the best-known talent in the UK alongside heroes of everyday society, to a much wider audience wherever they want to watch or stream.
“We’re looking forward to showcasing the genuine human moments embodying W’s new mantra ‘Life Unfiltered’ and can’t wait to share W’s rich mix of shows filled with joy, tears and laughter with our new a free-to-air audience.”
Steve North, UKTV’s genre general manager for comedy and entertainment, said: “We are confident that we’ve spotted a gap in the free-to-air market for W to fill; providing premium entertainment for people with busy lives who want to engage with shows that shine a spotlight on personal stories from everyday lives.
“W’s launch on UKTV’s direct-to-consumer VOD service, UKTV Play, will also mean that shows are more accessible than ever.”