UKTV, already no stranger to quirky channel names, has announced it’s taking a major step next year in bringing all of its services under a new masterbrand.
The broadcaster that brought us Alibi, Dave and W has confirmed that from summer 2024, its free-to-air and streaming services will transition to a new brand, simply called ‘U’. Its pay channels will follow later.
- That means that Dave, for example will become U&Dave.
- Drama turns into U&DRAMA.
- Yesterday becomes U&YESTERDAY.
- And W will be known as U&W.
- Streaming service UKTV Play will simply be known as U.
How fortunate that ITV has been phasing out the UTV branding in Northern Ireland, which has traditionally emphasised the letter U.
Commenting about the changes, Penny Brough, UKTV’s chief marketing officer, said:
“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.
“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.”
Its pay channels will get the rebrand at a ‘later date’ – UKTV hasn’t specified a more detailed timeframe.
That will mean that Gold will become U&GOLD (all caps as per press release), Alibi turns into U&alibi and Eden is expected to morph into U&eden.
UKTV, owned by BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC, wants the rebrand as part of its “ambitious growth strategy”, focussed on supercharging its streaming service and growing its linear channels.
This is in contrast with the licence-fee funded part of the Beeb which seems to be throwing everything at discouraging linear TV usage, e.g. by not promoting linear channels and broadcast times on trails.
The rationale for the UKTV changes is that to help the channels grow, they need to be bound together more strongly through common branding.
That effectively reverses the move that started in 2007, when UKTV’s channels dropped common branding in favour of strong individual brands for each channel.
PICTURED: UKTV branding changes. COPYRIGHT: UKTV.