Strategy Verdict - UKTV goes with Dave
Strategy: UKTV goes with Dave
Broadcaster: Virgin Media
Verdict: 4 out of 5.
"Interesting name for a channel" seems to be the reaction of the media community to the launch of Dave from UKTV.
Formerly UKTV G2, the channel's new name was born from the observation that everyone knows a bloke called Dave.
True, but everyone goes to the lavatory; that hardly makes it a good name for a TV channel.
If nothing else, the name is different and for that reason has created "talkability" and standout, so who can quibble?
What also stands out is Virgin Media's decision to launch the channel on Freeview, thereby doubling its potential viewership.
UKTV G2 was only available in satellite and cable homes; the move to DTT has doubled its potential viewership as Freeview is available in more than 20 million homes.
Pay-TV broadcasters have been grappling with the success of Freeview, weighing up the increased advertising revenue offered by larger audiences against the loss of subscription revenue by going free-to-air.
Virgin has a foot in both camps with Virgin One and now Dave.
The logical conclusion is that channels such as Dave will grow the Freeview universe and thereby continue to erode pay-TV audiences, meaning ad revenue will increasingly follow Freeview.
Dave caters to an audience - upmarket 16 to 34-year-old men - that is not currently well served by Freeview.
Notoriously fickle, young men are the quintessential channel surfers, and Dave has the content to attract a receptive and loyal audience with shows like Alan Partridge, Top Gear and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
Dave can sit comfortably alongside ITV2 and E4 as a bona fide home for 16 to 34 advertisers. It will do well.
- Review by Neil Jones, managing director, Carat.
This article was first published on Media Week
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