UKTV to launch masterbrand U on July 16

BBC Studios-owned commercial broadcaster UKTV has confirmed that its new masterbrand U will launch on July 16.

The masterbrand will unite UKTV’s free-to-air channels becoming U&Dave, U&Drama, U&Yesterday and U&W.

Its free streaming service will also transition from UKTV Play to U, with nearly 8,500 hours of programming, an uplift of almost 1,500 hours from the start of the year, according to the operator.

UKTV said the move which was first announced in November 2023, was driven to connect and better leverage the brands within UKTV’s estate. It comes as part of the company’s strategy to make it easier for users to navigate both online and on-air.

The new content line-up around the launch, includes reality gameshow Battle in the Box, season two of crime drama Whitstable Pearl, hit American action crime series Sons of Anarchy, and Disney Entertainment biopic series Mike.

UKTV will also rollout new original titles across its platform, including second series of Robert Thorogood’s The Marlow Murder Club and detective series Bergerac, as well as returning series of World’s Most Dangerous Roads and Willis: Delivering Babies, among more.

UKTV’s FAST channels which it debuted across Samsung TV Plus, Amazon Freevee, Pluto TV, and Virgin will be rebranded. UKTV Play Heroes will become 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.

Penny Brough, chief marketing officer, UKTV said: “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.”

Andrea Amey, chief digital officer, UKTV added: “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.”

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