UKTV is reportedly planning to switch the W channel from pay TV to a free-to-air channel later this year.
As part of the move, the female-orientated channel will launch on Freeview, significantly expanding its reach and potential advertising revenue.

The channel has steadily grown its profile over recent years with original commissions fronted by the likes of Emma Willis and Stacey Dooley, while it is also home to the popular Australian version of MasterChef.

According to the latest data from BARB, W and its timeshift channel currently have an average audience share of 0.37% – a figure which could easily increase once the channel switches to free-to-air transmissions.

W would join other UKTV stations Dave, Drama and Yesterday on Freeview, which have respective audience shares of 1.08%, 1.38% and 0.56%. The switch would leave Gold (0.57%), Alibi (0.43%) and Eden (0.03%) as UKTV’s remaining channels on pay TV.

UKTV has yet to officially confirm the move, which is expected to take place some time this spring and is likely to also involve a launch on Freesat.

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By Expat