UKTV is crediting a new multi-million-pound broadcast management system with allowing it to rebrand its channels without having to employ extra staff.

As part of a four-year development plan, UKTV has replaced its major business systems - BSS and Preset - and six local ones with On Air from Sintec Media.

The new management system communicates directly with UKTV's broadcast playout system at Red Bee Media. It aids the process of scheduling programming content for all UKTV's channels, pumps out listings feeds and automatically generates audience-retaining messages such as in-programme pointers.

It also creates a repository for programme rights information.

Accessed via desktop software, a remote client or a web browser, the new workflow engine relies heavily on data inputting at each stage of the channel chain.

UKTV head of technology and broadcast operations Ben Hine said staff from channel controllers to playout managers now add extra information to the On Air system about the content.

“In the past you might have had creatives and channel management staff throwing together a rough schedule that still required other people to add more information at the other end to make it all fit together. This was doubling data inputting,” Hine explained.

“The integrated system means people have to put in good information at the outset, which is a much more efficient way of doing it.”

On Air is being used by 140 of UKTV's 190 staff. Within a year all of them should be using it, potentially saving the broadcaster more than 18,000 man-hours a year.

“We've made a huge time saving so the navigation department can now be tasked with the branding and the scheduling department can spend time crafting schedules,” said Hine. “Because people have had more time it allowed us to do the rebranding with no extra resources.”

The broadcaster's channel overhaul has rebranded UKTV Drama as Alibi and G2 as Dave. People and Documentary will become Blighty and Eden respectively next year.