UKTV has seen a 42% increase in viewings of its UKTV Play catch-up service over the past year while registrations for the service also grew 45% to 4.45 million.
A free version of the app offering content from the broadcaster’s Dave, Yesterday and Drama channels is available on a host of smart TVs and Freeview, Freesat and YouView set top boxes, as well as on various streaming devices and on mobiles.
Content from UKTV’s subscription channels is also available under the UKTV Play brand on boxes from Sky, BT and Virgin Media.
The broadcaster also saw viewing across its network of seven channels grow by 3.2% to now reach over 18 million viewers a week.
The network achieved year-on-year share growth for adults (+3.2%), 16-34s (+2.3%) and ABC1s (+5.3%). In addition, Dave (+3.0%), Drama (+9.6%), Gold (+1.7%), Eden (+2.9%) and Alibi (+7.1%) experienced growth, with Drama maintaining its position as the number one non-PSB owned channel in the UK.
UKTV’s CEO, Marcus Arthur, said: “At the start of last year no one could have predicted what was in store. The global pandemic turned life upside down and businesses were forced to quickly adapt and pivot to new ways of working.
“I’m incredibly proud of how the team came together during our first full year under BBC Studios ownership and embraced UKTV’s unique challenger spirit to drive the business forward.
“While the pandemic temporarily paused production, UKTV was uniquely positioned with an incredibly rich archive of content which has been a much-appreciated source of joy for our viewers. This, alongside our strong pipeline of Originals, helped to deliver growth across all metrics in 2020.
“We will continue to build on this momentum throughout 2021 by increasing investment in original programming, strengthening our partnerships with the production community, and by growing our video on demand service, UKTV Play.
“We also look forward to outlining our growth strategy for key areas of podcasts and digital content.”