UKTV has announced 2016 was a record breaking year for the broadcaster in terms of revenue, profit and programme investment.
Over the course of three years, revenues have grown by 24.1 per cent (£277.8 million to £344.8 million) and EBITDA is up 35.5 per cent (£67.4 million to £91.3 million).
The broadcaster's increased investment in programming of £151.2 million saw double the number of UKTV Originals hours premiering in 2016 versus 2015.
UKTV is promising another increase in programming in 2017, with new series including:
- Davina (w/t) a primetime series for W, presented by Davina McCall
- Porters, a scripted comedy for Dave, set in the world of hospital porters
- Murder on the Blackpool Express, a two-part comedy for Gold, set on a coach trip to Blackpool
- Into the Fire, a fly-on-the-wall series for Really, following the West Midlands Fire Service
As part of the results announcement, UKTV has confirmed their on-demand service, UKTV Play, will launch on Sky Q, Sky+, Sky Go and Now TV later this year.
UKTV has also announced the launch of The Innovation Fund, partnered with Channel 4's Commerical Growth Fund. The Innovation Fund is a multi-million pound initiative designed to "unlock incremental revenue streams, enabling UKTV to invest in burgeoning high-growth companies across a variety of industries, obtaining equity stakes in businesses in return for advertising airtime on UKTV’s network, and helping growing organisations enter the TV advertising market." The first deals are expected to be announced later in 2017.
UKTV's CEO Darren Childs said, "UKTV is delivering well against its strategy, with record profit, revenue, and share of commercial linear and non-linear audiences. Over the last three years we have increased UKTV’s profit by over a third, by investing smartly in UKTV Originals and making sure our shows are accessible to viewers on all major digital platforms.
"Looking ahead, I believe there is great headroom to continue to grow share in our channels’ business, but we are also broadening our focus. We will invest more in VoD because our new advertising deal makes investment in on demand services attractive. UKTV Play remains our fastest-growing and youngest brand - across content, marketing and increasing our capability to use data to better serve advertisers."