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UKTV to unite channels under ‘U’ banner

UKTV is to unite its channels under the “masterbrand” U, bringing together its free-to-air channels and free streaming service under one banner.

U will be launched in summer 2024, and will see streaming service UKTV Play change to “U”, while other channels will become U&Dave, U&DRAMA, U&YESTERDAY and U&W.

UKTV’s pay channels Alibi, Gold and Eden will change to U&alibi, U&GOLD, U&eden at a later date.

The rebrand aims to support UKTV’s “ambitious growth strategy”, make it easier for users to navigate content online and on-air and create “a halo effect in brand marketing” across the portfolio.

“For 30 years, UKTV has had shows that people are passionate about — crime, drama, witty comedy and more — but until now it’s felt disconnected,” said Penny Brough, UKTV’s chief marketing officer. “We want to make sure our audiences can enjoy the full value of our free and wonderfully diverse offer, so we’re making it easier for them to navigate.

“U is the glue that enables us to do this: it means we go to market with a bold, simple and distinctive identity for our streaming service. U makes it easy for people to connect the dots between the streaming service and our family of TV channels — all while keeping hold of each channel’s unique personality and fame. This is now a family that’s fit for a digital future. It’s simple, but still full of personality because it’s all about U.”

This follows UKTV Play rebranding as digital-first last year. Views have grown 69% between January and August of this year.

Earlier this year, UKTV also launched its first free ad-supported TV (FAST) channels on Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV, with plans to add these to UKTV’s streaming service next year.

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