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Narrative Entertainment UK celebrates a ‘Great!’ third birthday

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Narrative Entertainment UK celebrates a ‘Great!’ third birthday

Narrative Entertainment UK continues its success story of market-defying growth…

The network’s growth over the past three years is combined this week with celebrating the announcement of two new FAST channel launches and the expansion of the GREAT! brand into the US market.

Since its launch of the free-to-air entertainment GREAT! network in May 2021, the company has enjoyed huge success, beating many established TV brands in a challenging market.

Formley Sony branded networks, the offering has expanded greatly, no pun intended, over the past three years. The GREAT! channels, which celebrate the best of movies and TV, and the children’s POP channels are enjoyed by 9/10 viewers in the UK, with channel reach growing 20% in 3 years under the stewardship of Narrative Entertainment UK versus the previous owners.

The TV market grew only 1% in this period – making Narrative’s achievement even more impressive. Narrative Entertainment’s audience growth has driven clear commercial results: in its 3-year history, commercial impacts on the GREAT! network have increased by 31% – with 2024 already reporting a 10% year on year growth – against market trends.

On top of the sustained year-on-year growth of the GREAT! movies and TV channels, Narrative Entertainment’s POP network remains the largest commercial kids’ group in the UK, with 47% share of kids’ commercial impacts, and the only group to grow impacts year-on-year (+3%).

Paul Dunthorne, Managing Director:

“After a record breaking 2023, Narrative Entertainment UK continues to punch far above its weight, outperforming the market in audience growth and commercial impacts. We are unapologetically focused on our heartland audiences; we know who they are and understand what they enjoy. This, matched with our independence and expertise, gives us the agility and commercial mindset to learn fast, adapt and launch at scale, bringing much loved TV to our audiences, wherever they are – always for free”.

From its inception 36 months ago, Narrative Entertainment has already broadened its horizons via expansion in Ireland and Malta. In partnership with US parent Narrative Capital, the UK team are launching the new channel GREAT! comedy. Delivered by FAST, the channel is dedicated to in depth interviews, comedic podcasts and material from JASH collective, a comedy group set up by Michael Cera and Sarah Silverman.

This level of growth is driven by meaningful investment in people, in 2024 Narrative increased its permanent headcount by 20% – a rare, good news story in an industry besieged by redundancies and restructures. New FAST channels launching are POP UP an innovative launch, taking the single IP principle of FAST with the know-how of traditional broadcasting, curating blocks of sequential single IP takeovers weeks at a time.

Also launching is GREAT! mystery – a brand new, FAST exclusive ‘Home of the Whodunnit’ channel which will offer network premiering movies to digital audiences before they air on GREAT! movies linear.

Paul Dunthorne, Managing Director:

“I am extremely proud of the UK team who continue to outperform the market, driving our growth and success. We’re committed to working with IP holders to add new ways to provide them value, focused on how and where audiences view our content. 2024 will see us continue to scale our distribution, further leverage our direct partnerships with brands – particularly in the kids space – and ramp up our commissioning capability to deliver our production plans into 2025 and beyond”.

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