Published Friday, 12 October 2012
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We have a peak time audience share of around 25% - this means that 1 in 4 people who are watching television at that time, are tuning into UTV. Not bad in a market with more than 500 channels, and more local competition than anywhere else in the UK or Ireland because of the availability of channels from both Dublin and London too.
All businesses have slogans or straplines which we connect with their brand identity. If I were to say "Because you're worth it", or "Every Little Helps", you would know almost instantly that I'm talking about L'Oreal and Tesco.
Our strapline for many years had been "UTV is Your TV" and then "...it's all about U". Both these straplines served us well and even today people refer to them when they talk about the Channel.
However in a digital world we want you, our audience, to have a wider understanding of UTV as not just a television channel, but being far more, being a dynamic digital cross-platform company still in touch with our roots, but also understanding that our audience expects more from us - more content available on a variety of platforms to watch where you want to watch - anywhere at any time! So from today, the Channel's new strapline is "Part of U".
UTV has been part of Northern Ireland for so long that I believe we're often taken for granted as a public service broadcaster. When I travel outside of Northern Ireland, politicians and opinion formers tell me regularly they wish they had the local service that UTV provides in their part of the world.
UTV Live and UTV Live Tonight are first class news programmes by anyone's standards. Insight's- award winning, investigative films help set the standard of television current affairs. On top of that our programmes such as Lesser Spotter Ulster, a Rare Breed, RPM and our one off programmes and documentaries illuminate different interests that are relevant to the whole of Northern Ireland.
Part of U also moves UTV away from being just a television brand to being a personal brand which you can use, consume and watch how U want, when U want. UTV is available in the corner of your front room, on your office desk, on IPTV via the PS3 and we'll shortly be launching a new mobile site for tablet and a new app for your smart phone with more platforms to follow.
UTV is not just your television channel, it's Part of U, and we want to make sure you can take us with you wherever you go. If it's to know the latest news headlines or to catch up on Corrie or The X Factor - we're the only place you need to go.
But most importantly for those shared moments in front of the TV screen, we're still with you. The big shows, the big soaps, those major news stories both in our patch and across the world. UTV is there.
There's excitement about the live shows on The X Factor, we all want to know who's going into the jungle on I'm A Celebrity and there are major storylines in Corrie and Emmerdale which have the nation gripped. There's world class drama with Downton Abbey and plenty more from Doc Martin to Monroe, Midsomer Murders to Whitechapel.
The 'watercooler' moments happen on UTV. On television there is shared entertainment, emotional connections and with UTV there is local relevance which is then reflected in our digital world on our Twitter accounts, which have almost 100,000 combined followers - the Channel's account @utv, news is @utvnews or try me @mw_utv - and UTV's own Facebook page where you can engage, share and react to stories that are part of where you live and work.
As we embrace the end of the analogue era and the move towards full digital switchover, UTV is proud to be part of Northern Ireland and proud to be "Part of U".
Finally, a huge thanks to the whole team at UTV - especially UTV Creative and Communications who have made this idea a reality. Have a look at the first of the "Part of U" messages.