Brexit hits ITV revenue, but Studios prove bright spot

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

UK terrestrial broadcaster ITV said evenues fell four per cent to £743m in the first quarter, as uncertainty over Brexit affected advertising demand.

However, the company’s production unit ITV Studios saw revenue rise one per cent to £385m.

ITV said the numbers were expected, as big brands limited their ad spend in the run up to the UK’s departure from the European Union, which has now been delayed further. The firm also said it suffered from a fall due to the absence of the football World Cup.

Performance dip expected

"ITV's performance in the first three months was very much as we expected”, said the channel’s CEO Carolyn McCall.

"Viewing has continued to be strong with ITV Family share of viewing up four per cent and a 16 per cent increase in viewing hours on the ITV Hub.” 

“This reflects the strength and depth of our schedule with highlights such as Manhunt, Cheat, Cleaning Up and The Bay which were the four most watched new dramas so far this year with more than 7m viewers each, and the continued success of the Six Nations and Dancing On Ice. 

“We have an exciting schedule for the remainder of the year including Wild Bill, Beecham House, A Confession, the Rugby World Cup and the return of Love Island.”

Brexit weighs

The growth in ITV Studios revenue and 22 per cent growth in VOD revenues were offset by the decline in spot advertising impacted by the timing of Easter and economic and political uncertainty, ITV said.

ITV Studios also announced it has secured a second territory commission for its new physical gameshow Catchpoint with TV2 in Hungary.

Studios sees growth and signs more deals.

The company said it was on track to deliver its video streaming joint venture with the BBC, Britbox, in the second half of the year.

As reported previously by Prolific London, the channel also agreed an exclusive license in the UK and Ireland with Amobee, during the first quarter. The deal will enable ITV to deliver programmatic addressable advertising on the ITV Hub

"We remain very focused on delivering in the areas we can control, with our investment and cost saving programmes on track, and we are actively mitigating the factors outside the company's control”, CEO McCall said, alluding to Brexit. 

“We have a solid balance sheet which enables us to make the right decisions to build a robust and growing business and deliver returns to shareholders in line with our guidance."

ITV’s shares were down 4.25 per cent at £1.26 on the London Stock Exchange earlier.

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