UKTV strikes co-funding deal with Waitrose

UKTV has commissioned its biggest advertiser-funded programming (AFP) deal with Waitrose. The supermarket chain has signed a co-funding deal with UKTV Food for prime-time commission Market Kitchen.

The deal is the first co-funded property signed by UKTV, owned by the BBC and Virgin Media Television (VMTV), and marks a new strategy aimed at getting AFP into primetime slots (MW February 22).

The 12-month, six-figure deal was created with media agency OMD and its branded content division Fuse.

VMTV controller of commercial partnerships Claire Heys says co-founding gives the television house more control over editorial content. She expects 20% of the UKTV Food channel to be funded by advertisers in three years.

The daily magazine show will be presented by four food experts including cookery writer Tana Ramsay  (above) and author Tom Parker-Bowles. It will focus primarily on locally sourced produce, echoing Waitrose’s positioning as a local and regional British food “champion”.

Strands including Buy It and Try It, Market Kitchen Cellar and Best of British closely reflect Waitrose brand values and will be built into the John Lewis-owned supermarket.

The partnership will incorporate on and off-air activity including Waitrose-branded ten-second bumper credits, top and tailing the 260 hour-long primetime shows, as well as 90-minute extended day-time repeats, and break bumpers.

Waitrose will be the show’s exclusive online sponsor and stream four programming strands on its website. It will provide competition prizes on-air and has the opportunity to invite its customers to take part in filming.

Waitrose will also receive branding on the Market Kitchen launch campaign, which has been created by Albion. UKTV Food branding will be included on any relevant Waitrose-produced marketing materials.

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