British broadcasting multi-channel brand UKTV has initiated another collective venture for its 10 networks, collaborating with start-up ‘hybrid TV platform’ YouView to release an official catch-up service for connected TV viewers.
The channels, which are a venture of Scripps International and BBC Worldwide, will for the first time provide content from 3 of their channels (male-based network Dave, female-oriented Really, and history channel Yesterday) in the same location, as well as the first time UKTV has ‘purposely entered’ the market of set-top boxes. Content for Dave is noted as being the first order of business on the free service with a roll-out in July, followed by programming from Yesterday and Really by ‘the end of the year’.
Despite its integrated platform across 3 supported networks, the new service not likely to expand to include UKTV’s remaining 7 channels (Alibi, Blighty, Eden, Gold, Good Food, Home, Watch, and new channel Drama as of 8 July), all of them featuring a lower level of accessibility (namely, not being on terrestrial television without a pay-wall) than those featured on the catch-up app.
UKTV’s CEO Darren Childs said of the deal: “The UKTV network currently reaches over 42 million viewers a month and this agreement with YouView will make our award-winning programmes and channel brands available to even more viewers. Providing a catch-up service for our free-to-air channels on YouView is an important step for us, ensuring we give viewers the ‘anytime, anywhere’ access to our channels and programming that they want.”
Joining YouView’s release of a ‘companion app’ on Android for remote control and live listings of the service, will the release of UKTV’s app become another attraction to a platform looking to carry as many online options as possible? Or will it not make much of a difference, considering most of UKTV’s content is essentially repeats of BBC programmes commercialised…