Award-winning commercial broadcaster UKTV today announced that it is taking its premium entertainment channel W free-to-air and making it available on its direct-to-consumer video on demand service UKTV Play, in a move that will significantly increase the footprint of W and its programme offering.
Coinciding with the switch to free-to-air, W is rebranding and repositioning itself as the home of genuine human moments, leading with the tagline, "Life Unfiltered" to connect with its female skewing 25-44 target audience.
Designed by in-house agency, UKTV Creative, W's new creative look and feel embodies a down-to-earth and unfiltered feel and the suite of new creative assets celebrate W's inspiring programming and real-life moments in all their imperfect and unique glory.
W's channel director, Adam Collings, said: "We are thoroughly delighted to be bringing W's brilliant original content featuring some of the best-known talent in the UK alongside heroes of everyday society, to a much wider audience wherever they want to watch or stream. We're looking forward to showcasing the genuine human moments embodying W's new mantra 'Life Unfiltered' and can't wait to share W's rich mix of shows filled with joy, tears and laughter with our new a free-to-air audience."
Steve North, UKTV's genre general manager for comedy and entertainment, said: "We are confident that we've spotted a gap in the free-to-air market for W to fill; providing premium entertainment for people with busy lives who want to engage with shows that shine a spotlight on personal stories from everyday lives. W's launch on UKTV's direct-to-consumer VOD service, UKTV Play, will also mean that shows are more accessible than ever."
On launch, full closed captions will be available on 100% of W programming via Freeview and UKTV Play, continuing UKTV's ongoing mission to increase accessibility on all content. In the first month after the switch to free-to-air, viewers will be able to watch brand new episodes of Inside the Ambulance, Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over S3 and Nurses on the Ward S1, as well as the chance to watch the first two series of Emma Willis Delivering Babies, Emma Willis & AJ Odudu Get to Work S1 and Women on the Force for the first time on Freeview and UKTV Play.
From 28th March viewers can watch W on Freeview, Freesat and UKTV Play, and it remains available to Virgin Media and Sky subscribers. Launching on Monday 28th March in Freeview slot 25, viewers will have access to a plethora of hit UKTV Originals for free.