They Think It's All Over: for the lads
UKTV is joining the media scrum to target young male audiences and is rebranding one of its existing channels as UK G2.
UK Gold 2, the broadcaster's existing time shift channel for its most established channel brand, UK Gold, will be rebranded as UK G2 from November 12 and will feature comedy and drama with a male skew.
The likes of Have I got News for You, Room 101 and They Think It's All Over will feature on the station, which follows in the footsteps of a number of broadcasters who have recently announced plans to target young men.
Last week it emerged that Viacom plans to launch VH2 before the end of the year. The new station, which will sit on Sky's Electronic Programme Guide among the existing VH1 and VH1 Classic brands, will be a music-focused station aimed at the lads' audience.
As a result, it has emerged VH1 will be realigned to target more of a female audience.
Sky recently launched three music channels - the Amp, Scuzz and Flaunt. Both Scuzz and Amp have a male focus.
However, not all forays into the market will survive. Last year, Turner Broadcasting launched CNX to target the young male market, but recently rebranded the channel with a much younger focus to Toonami.
Dick Emery, chief executive of UK TV - a joint venture by the BBC and Flextech - said: "When we looked at the UK Gold audience, we identified a much younger, contemporary group that was not being catered for. The result was the development of UK G2, which, we believe, will attract a new and distinct audience."
The new channel will be accompanied by a press, radio and poster advertising campaign when it hits the airwaves next month and will be available on the Sky, NTL and Telewest digital TV platforms.
Sales for the TV station will be handled by IDS, which handles the TV airtime for all of the other UKTV brands, which include UKBrightideas and UKStyle.
IDS and UKTV recently launched an initiative aimed at reducing the length and increasing the quality and effectiveness of television advertising on the UKTV and Flextech network of channels.
As a result, from its launch, UK G2 will have ad breaks no longer than 3.5 minutes.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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