No Brexit blues for Dave, Del Boy or Rodney: Business as usual for UKTV after referendum

William Turvill
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David Jason - Book Signing
UKTV owns Gold, which broadcasts David Jason's Only Fools and Horses (Source: Getty)

It’s “business as usual” for UKTV, the owner of TV channels Dave and Gold, after the UK’s Brexit vote.

The company has today reported that it is “outpacing the British broadcast market”, with a record share of commercial impacts (SOCI), claiming 9.74 per cent, and “significant growth” of audience share and on-demand viewing in the first half of 2016.

The broadcaster also reported growing its advertising impacts 7.6 per cent year-on-year.

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“The adverting market was in robust health in the first six months of 2016 but it’s too early to know exactly how Brexit will affect the country’s economy and indeed the advertising sector and media industry as a whole,” UKTV chief executive Darren Childs told City A.M.

“Like everyone, we’ll continue to keep a close eye on how things develop. It’s natural that some companies might delay spending plans so I anticipate that the advertising market in the second half of this year is unlikely to be as strong as it was in the second half of 2015, but I firmly believe television will continue to be a compelling place to reach customers and the positive sales growth will continue.”

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On the impact the UK’s Brexit vote could have on UKTV, he said: “It's fair to say the vote has caused some delays in media spend in the second half of this year but as the UK fundamentals are strong we could see a quick return to ‘business as usual’.”

Highlights during the first half of the year included UKTV’s Dave channel moving into live sports for the first time, with 3.2m viewers watching David Haye’s comeback fight.

Elsewhere, Gold – the channel known for showing sitcom classics like Only Fools and Horses and the Royle Family – claimed an 8.2 per cent year-on-year increase in viewing share.

The figures come after the company, which is 50 per cent owned by the BBC, reported a 13 per cent growth in revenue in 2015 to £319m. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), meanwhile, came in at £82m, up 10 per cent.