UKTV predicts a narrowing of channels available on FTA platforms

Darren Childs, chief executive of UKTV has said that the number of channels available to British viewers "will start to decrease soon" with neither advertising nor carriage fees growing sharply.

The company which is half owned by BBC Worldwide and the Scripps Network predicted this change as they report increased revenues of 6% from last year to £278 million after launching a dedicated drama channel to try and compete with ITV's new ITV Encore channel.

Childs said: "FTA spectrum is very expensive and the [Pay -TV platforms] are having to make big choices about where they're investing. We (UKTV) have the benefit of scale, Some of the smaller niche players are going to struggle. Look at London Live. The economics of this business are really tough."

UKTV are currently matching Channel 4's market share of 9% even though they are a smaller organisation and their share of the TV advertising market rose 17% in the first six months of 2014.

The company have also said it is planning a 'double-digit' increase in it's spending on original productions this year, up from £125 million last year.

This comes after a few months of mixed activity from other UK broadcasters.

Chanel 5 is nearing completion of a sale of £450 million to US media giant Viacom while shares in ITV, following speculation of a takeover by Liberty Global, are at their highest levels for 14 years. This sits alongside Channel 4 revealing that they have struggled to translate a string of award-winning shows into advertising revenues.

It's certainly a time of high activity for all the UK based broadcasters and the next few months will prove instrumental in all the broadcasters next steps.

DTG Staff  |  08.09.2014

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