The broadcaster plans to partner with Channel 4’s Commercial Growth Fund and invest in burgeoning high-growth companies across a variety of industries, obtaining equity stakes in businesses in return for advertising airtime on UKTV’s network, and helping growing organisations enter the TV advertising market.
It’s anticipated the first deals will be announced later in 2017.
UKTV has also announced an 8 per cent increase in revenues to £344.8 million and EBITDA growth of 11.3 per cent to £91.3 million.
“Even during a turbulent year in the ad market, the business continues to deliver double digit profit growth. This strong performance has allowed us to invest in creative commissions but we want to do more. That’s why in 2017 we are diversifying our business with the launch of The Innovation Fund. This is a significant move for UKTV, as we plan to make a multi-million pound investment in high-growth potential businesses, to generate new revenue streams,” said CEO Darren Childs.
In 2016 Dave and Drama retained their positions as the top two non-PSB channels in the UK, with Drama growing its share of viewing by 27% through the popularity of classic BBC titles from its output deal including Death in Paradise and Inspector George Gently.
UKTV Play, UKTV’s video on demand service, remains the fastest growing part of the business. So far in 2017 the service has grown direct-to-consumer views by 51% year-on-year.