Channel 5’s portfolio of TV channels delivered its highest-ever annual share of viewing (SOV) amongst both ABC1 and 16 to 34-year-old TV viewers in the UK in 2017[i], helping the broadcaster to its strongest overall ratings performance for 13 years.
Channel 5’s performance in 2017 contributed to a strong year overall for its parent company, Viacom, which grew overall viewing across its portfolio by 2% to gain an 8.4% share of all TV viewing in the UK.
Despite fresh investment by public service (PSB) competitors, including the transfer of The Great British Bake Off to Channel 4 and the return of Blue Planet to BBC 1, the Channel 5 family of channels secured the largest year-on-year (YoY) audience growth of any terrestrial broadcaster portfolio during 2017, gaining 5% to achieve a 6.51% share of all TV viewing – its best performance since 2004. In addition, Channel 5 delivered its highest ever share over the two-week Christmas period[ii].
Channel 5’s portfolio, including 5Star, 5USA and 5Spike, also delivered the largest growth amongst ABC1 viewers of any PSB channel group, gaining 6% YoY to record a 5.58% share. This represents its highest ever annual SOV for this demographic, reflecting increased investment in critically-acclaimed factual and documentary programming such as Slum Britain: 50 Years On, produced in partnership with Shelter and natural history documentary, Alaska: A Year in the Wild.
Across the year, the Channel 5 portfolio also managed to record its joint highest ever annual SOV for 16-34s, while pre-school block, Milkshake, also achieved its best ever annual share of all kids viewing[iii].
All Channel 5’s flanker channels held or grew SOV during the year, headlined by a 32% increase in share of all individuals (4+) for 5Spike, which was rebranded during the year and has grown audiences every year since launching in 2015.
Comedy Central had its best ever year in 2017, growing SOV amongst its target audience of 16 to 34-year-olds by 11% YoY to 1.84%, making it the most popular channel in pay TV homes amongst that age group, while MTV achieved its second highest ever annual share for this demographic[iv]. Nickelodeon was again the number one ranked kids network in pay TV homes in 2017, while Nick Jr. also achieved its best year on record in the UK[v].
James Currell, President for Viacom’s UK operations, commented: “It speaks volumes for the strength of Channel 5’s performance last year that it gained share from its rivals and won over new audiences in the most intense competitive environment I can remember. It is clear proof our investment in reinventing Channel 5’s schedule is paying off and is contributing strongly to the overall growth of our UK business.”
[i] Based on ratings data from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017 (consolidated until 26th December)
[ii] C5 portfolio SOV was 6.41% between 18th December to 31st December and C5 recorded best Xmas Day and NY Day in 11 years
[iii] C5 portfolio SOV for 16-34s in 2017 was 6.76%; Milkshake SOV amongst kids 4 to 15 during broadcast hours +16% YoY to 13.5%
[iv] MTV SOV for 16-34s in 2017 was 0.7%
[v] Nickelodeon Network (6 channels) +7% YoY to 9% of all viewing amongst kids aged 4 to 15 in pay TV homes, putting it 9% ahead of BBC Kids and 38% ahead of Disney. Nick Jr. +11% YoY to a 3.37% SOV amongst kids aged 4 to 15.
Top 5 rated episodes on C5 in 2017: Celebrity Big Brother (2.8M & 9.5% share), Agatha Christie’s Crooked House (2.6M & 12.1% share), The Yorkshire Vet (2.4M & 11.7% share), Rich House, Poor House (2.4M & 9.5% share), Blind Date (2.3M & 14% share)