Focus on ‘best of British’ pays off for UKTV

 

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The Independent Online

UKTV, the commercial broadcaster known for running repeats of BBC hits such as Top Gear and Have I Got News For You on its flagship channel Dave, saw annual revenues rise 6 per cent to a record £278m after it commissioned more original programming.

But profits before exceptional items fell 6 per cent to £67.4m as it spent heavily on new shows such as Dave Gorman: Modern Life is Goodish and Dynamo: Magician and the launch of another channel, called Drama, as part of its focus on “the best of British”.

The broadcaster’s share of the TV advertising market hit a record 9.1 per cent  in the first half of 2014.

On-demand viewing has also surged and UKTV has recently bought the exclusive rights to air Monty Python’s London reunion stage show on its Gold channel.

UKTV, which is jointly owned by BBC Worldwide and US broadcaster Scripps, declined to release its full accounts. But BBC Worldwide admitted in its own accounts in July it took a £16.5m “one-off accounting charge” related to “previously loss-making components of the UKTV Group”.

UKTV has 10 channels including Watch and Good Food.

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