NBCUniversal repositions flagship Universal Channel

NBCUniversal has put character-driven entertainment at the heart of a global refresh of the flagship brand of its channels division, Universal Channel.

The new-look Universal Channel, which will debut in the UK and Republic of Ireland on 5 August, features a refreshed logo and on-air look, as well as the new tagline "100% Characters", to reflect its new character-led positioning.

The refresh of NBCUniversal's flagship brand was the result of collaboration between its central marketing team, Red Bee Media and TV brand strategist Lee Hunt.

The global rollout of the refreshed Universal Channel, which is seen in 103 countries and 16 languages around the world, began in Asia in April and has since launched in multiple territories, including Africa, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Latin America and Brazil.

Poland, Romania, Russia and Australia will follow in the coming months.

Lee Raftery, the executive vice-president of marketing at NBCUniversal International Television, said: "We arrived at our unique positioning because we believe that great characters are the magnets that draw viewers back to their favourite shows – week after week.

"Universal Channel’s new logo, look and ‘100% Characters’ tagline are simple and intuitive enabling us to connect with the hearts and minds of our audiences, everywhere, and maximize the potential of this global entertainment brand."

'Bates Motel', the prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's ‘Psycho’, will be on the new-look Universal Channel in September, alongside shows such as ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’, ‘Major Crimes’, ‘Royal Pains’ and ‘Rookie Blue’.

Nicky Douglas, the managing director, Universal Networks International, said: "Universal Channel’s new character-led positioning actively builds on the channel’s heritage and strengths to better distinguish it with viewers and platform partners as a top-ranking channel among pay-TV with must-see content.

"By reinventing one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history, 'Bates Motel' perfectly epitomises and brings to life that new positioning and truly demonstrates that really rich characters are universal in their appeal."

Universal Channel is available in the UK on Sky, Virgin, Talk Talk and BT.