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UKTV confirm launch date for new look ‘U’ channels


UKTV confirm launch date for new look ‘U’ channels

The rebrand will hit the air next month…

UKTV has announced that U – its new master brand – will launch on 16th July, including a line-up of content of nearly 8,500 hours on its free streaming service, an uplift of almost 1,500 hours from the start of the year.

The master brand will unite UKTV’s family of free-to-air channels becoming U&Dave, U&DRAMA, U&YESTERDAY and U&W. Its free streaming service will transition from UKTV Play to U.

Penny Brough, Chief Marketing Officer, UKTV:

“The launch of U on 16th July is an important step for UKTV, defining our age of transformation. U will present our viewers with an extraordinary range of free quality content, allowing them to connect the dots between the streaming service and our family of TV channels.”

Alongside viewer favourites, audiences will be able to benefit from new programming around launch such as comedy reality gameshow Battle in the Box on U and U&Dave, hosted by Jimmy Carr. Based on a hit Korean format, pairs of comics and celebrities will battle it out for pride, prizes and most importantly, floorspace, in this comedy entertainment and reality hybrid.

All change: The familiar brands change next month

A second series of Whitstable Pearl will be available as a boxset on U from 16th July before launching on U&DRAMA. The crime drama returns for a new season, following series one record ratings. Pearl Nolan (Kerry Godliman), single mother of a grown son, is a private detective who runs the Whitstable Pearl, a seafood restaurant in the coastal town of Whitstable.

A record tenth series of Bangers & Cash on U and U&YESTERDAY following the Mathewson’s family-run historic car auction business in Yorkshire. One of U&YESTERDAY’s most popular shows, it has spawned a live event – Bangers & Cash Live, with over 15,000 people expected to attend in August. Plus, popular back-catalogue hits such as The Bill and Classic EastEnders. to note just a few of the offerings.

Andrea Amey, Chief Digital Officer, UKTV:

“U will be home to almost 8,500 hours of free content, comprising new programming, exclusive shows, award-winning originals and premiere acquisitions. We can’t wait to give our viewers even more choice and a service that is easy to navigate, so they can enjoy our free and varied offering.”

Last year, UKTV announced the launch of four Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) channels on Samsung TV Plus, Amazon Freevee and Pluto TV, which marked the broadcaster’s debut in the FAST market. These channels also launched on Virgin earlier this year. As part of the new masterbrand, UKTV’s FAST channels will be rebranded, with UKTV Play Heroes becoming U&Real Heroes; UKTV Play Laughs will move to U&Laughs; UKTV Play Full Throttle will transition to U&Transport; and UKTV Play Uncovered will be known as U&The Past.

Consumers can subscribe to U here.

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