UKTV launches channel on Freeview

LONDON - UKTV is attempting to increase its share of TV advertising revenues by launching a new channel called Dave on Freeview.

The channel, a rebranded version of its existing UKTV G2 format, will target men aged 16 to 34. UKTV G2 is only available as part of UKTV's pay-TV package, but the rebranded channel will be available across all platforms, effectively doubling its audience potential.

Dave will launch on 19 October and replace UKTV Bright Ideas on the Freeview platform. It will retain UKTV G2's mix of comedy and factual entertainment and include shows such as Little Britain, Top Gear and Have I Got News for You in its new schedule.

An on-air launch campaign, created by Red Bee Media, will position Dave as "The home of witty banter". The name "Dave" was selected because "everyone knows a bloke called Dave".

Julia Jordan, the executive director of business and operations at UKTV, said Dave has the potential to become a "top ten channel".

Its launch next month will follow that of Virgin 1, the Virgin Television channel aimed at a male audience, on 1 October.

Jordan added: "There's a opportunity for a channel like Dave on Freeview. The younger male audience is of very high value commercially, and this demographic is currently underserved in Freeview homes."