In its latest annual report, the broadcaster confirmed an £123m investment in content producing strong growth in commercial impacts and in its on-demand services.
UKTV says it is now vying for the title of top non public service broadcaster (PSB), as award-winning channel Dave maintained its position as the most watched non-PSB channel in the country, while new Freeview channel Drama was confirmed by UKTV as "the most successful British TV channel launch in five years."
The home of BAFTA-nominated Monty Python Live (Mostly) and Broadcasting Press Guild-winning Crackanory has also seen strong growth of UKTV Play, its on demand service, as the company invests in expansion of its business beyond traditional, linear broadcasting.
Strong advertising revenues derived from a strong SOCI (share of commercial impacts) performance, meant UKTV booked record revenue of £283m last year (2013 £278m) and saw a 10% increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) at £74.1m (2013 £67.4m).
Original British programmes such as Storage Hunters UK and Dave Gorman: Modern Life is Goodish were amongst the network's top performing titles, demonstrating the increasing strength of the British broadcaster's commissioning power and helping the network to achieve its record performance in 2014.
Darren Childs, Chief Executive, said:
"UKTV has now grown its share of the British commercial TV market to 9.4%, making our portfolio of channels vital for advertisers. This is the first time in the history of British television that a non-PSB channels business has played such a big role in the ratings, but expect much more from us. This is just the groundwork to ensure long term, future success for UKTV.
"We are significantly increasing our investment in brilliant content, both in what we spend on our outstanding UK originations and in our enviable collection of 'best in class' acquisitions from BBC as well as from C4, ITV and overseas. We pay relentless attention to our ever-increasing reach and distribution, ensuring modern British viewers can enjoy our vibrant channels and imaginative shows, whichever kind of television provision and technology they have: free, pay or online only."
- UKTV operates Dave, Dave Ja Vu, Drama, Really, Yesterday as free-to-air channels via Freeview (also available on YouView and EE TV boxes) and via online platforms including UKTV Play and TVPlayer, with the remaining services including Alibi, Gold, Eden and Watch distributed on pay TV platforms. Dave, Dave Ja Vu, Drama, Really, Yesterday are encrypted on satellite as part of a deal with Sky; this also avoids overlaps with BBC Worldwide pay TV channels showing similar content in neighbouring countries.