actors Sunetra Sarker and Alex Fletcher have said they’re “thrilled” and “super proud” that the much-loved soap has been streamed over 14 million times in the year since STV Player brought it back to screens.
The free streaming service became the first platform to relaunch the show from the very start on 1 February 2023 – adding five new episodes every Wednesday – and the 280 episodes that have since been released have amassed a total of 14.4 million streams. That figure equates to 5 million hours of viewing across the year.
In Scotland, where STV Player has exclusive streaming rights to Channel 3 network content, individual episodes of Brookside received a higher number of streams than current soaps, Coronation Street and Emmerdale (between 1 February 2023 and 1 February 2024).
Loose Women star Sunetra Sarker, who played Nisha Batra in Brookside, said: “I am thrilled that so many people have been watching Brookside again on STV Player after all these years. I’m so proud to have discovered my acting career through this incredible, groundbreaking soap from back in the day, and still have so many fans of the show reaching out to remind me how important Brookside remains.”
70% of Brookside
streams on STV Player’s direct-to-consumer platforms have come from outside the area served by the STV broadcast channel (central and northern Scotland). Perhaps unsurprisingly, 10% of all consumption has taken place within the Liverpool area, where Brookside is set.
And 78 nautical miles across the Irish Sea from Merseyside, the Isle of Man is proving to be a particular hotspot for Brookie fans. The average STV Player viewer on the island has streamed 68 episodes of the show – nearly a quarter of the 280 episodes currently available on the platform.
STV Player viewers have now reached episodes of the show from July 1985, meaning they’ve watched the equivalent of almost three years of the soap’s original timeline (it launched in November 1982).
Some of Brookside’s most memorable moments and storylines are set to feature this year, including the harrowing rape of Sheila Grant (played by Sue Johnston) and the dramatic nurses’ siege at Number 7, which will stream from 14 February.
Alex Fletcher, who played Jacqui Dixon on the show for 13 years and now stars as Diane O’Connor in Hollyoaks, said: “I am super proud that after all these years, Brookside is still in high demand. It’s brilliant to know we still have a huge fan base – proved by the show being streamed by millions!
“The positive reaction around the Brookie re-runs has blown me away, but its success doesn’t shock me as it’s so nostalgic for people. We told gritty, down-to-earth stories through relatable characters. With less choice of channels back in the day, people were more invested in what they watched so it’s even nicer to know that Brookie is still holding its own, even with all the choice that’s out there now.”
Available for free to viewers across the UK, STV Player can be found on all major platforms, including Sky Q, NOW, Virgin Media, Amazon Fire TV and Freeview Play.
Brookside is available to stream from the start on STV Player, with five new episodes added every Wednesday.