Dave is an unexpected success for UKTV

Men's Channel - High audience figures and sales growth prompt rebranding of UKTV.

The unexpected success of UKTV's men's channel Dave, relaunched after rebranding from UKTV G2 in October 2007, is the driving force behind UKTV's decision to rebrand its entire portfolio.

For the week ending 1 June, Dave reached 11.2 million multichannel viewers, with a further two million watching the +1 channel. Top performing programmes included Jack Dee Live at the Apollo and QI. Dave's highest rating show so far is QI, when it was watched by 800,000 people on 28 January.

In the same week a year earlier, UKTV G2 reached only half that number, 5.4 million, despite airing largely the same content, such as QI and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, targeted at 16 to 34-year-old males. UKTV attributes Dave's success to the rebrand.

Only 1% of pay-TV viewers could spontaneously recall UKTV G2, but following the rebrand, recognition among viewers has grown to 32%.

On average, 25 million viewers tune into Dave a month. According to Barb figures for Q1, Dave's reach has increased by 84% compared to its predecessor UKTV G2. While the majority of this growth is due to Dave's availability on Freeview, reach in cable and satellite homes has also risen - by 39% and 23% respectively. In Freeview-only homes, Dave is the top channel for ABC1 men, excluding the terrestrials.

Dave has expanded from being the fifth to the second-most profitable channel in the UKTV portfolio. Its incremental growth will contribute £25m ad sales revenue in 2008, according to the broadcaster.