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Adam MacDonald on Sky 1’s record breaking year

Sky 1 Director reflects on last year’s performance

Adam MacDonald Director or Sky 1

Just before Christmas, as we were all frantically wrapping those final presents and searching the internet for a decent recipe for sprouts, Broadcast Magazine, the industry journal for all things telly, published its end of year review of TV channel performance, which lead with “ITV and Sky 1 were the only two channels to significantly increase their share over the period.”

 They noted that our share had jumped by 8.3%, while ITV’s was up 1.5%. Last year was indeed a record-breaking one for the channel and this was a fantastic early Christmas present.

The year began with Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, starring James Nesbitt, which became the highest rated original drama series ever with an average audience of 1.3 million and every single episode achieving audiences over one million each week.

 This was swiftly followed by A League of Their Own: Road Trip where the guys were let loose out of the studio as they dropped in on James Corden between recordings of his break out hit talk show in America. The series averaged 1.4 million, which was the highest audience in the franchise’s 11-series history.

 As the year progressed more records were set – Ross Kemp’s extraordinarily brave journey through ISIS-ravaged Syria saw his Extreme World franchise score its highest single audience ever. And in the Autumn, Hooten & The Lady was the fifth consecutive brand new drama Sky 1 had launched to audiences over a million, the first time the channel has achieved that in its history (a winning, million plus, streak that now runs to seven consecutive dramas).

Suitably, Sky 1 capped a record breaking year with its most successful Christmas schedule ever.

The Last DragonslayerMonkeys: An Amazing Animal FamilyYonderland and A League of Their Own Christmas specials all helped make Christmas Eve and Christmas Day the highest-rated festive days the channel has seen.

 And our final drama of the year, Delicious, is set to become the highest-rated drama of the year.

What’s fantastic about all of the above shows is that they are all Sky original productions, co-productions or commissions – so we’re doing something right, and luckily the viewers agree. With some of these shows returning, exciting new shows and the best from the US (Modern Family, The Flash and Hawaii Five-O etc.) Sky 1 is in a great shape for 2017.


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