May 7, 2017

ITV and C4 seek new chiefs as advertisers shift to online channels

After seven years in their starring roles, the two bosses at Britain's biggest commercial television companies are stepping down, sparking a search for new leadership at a moment of sweeping change in the global TV business. While past predictions of the death of television have proved to be wide of the mark, the next chiefs of ITV and Channel 4 will take charge in uncertain times. During Mr Crozier's time in charge at ITV, the channel's share of audience fell slightly from 23 per cent to 21 per cent, while, since 2010, C4's main channel has also seen a drop, from 6.2 per cent to 4.8 per cent, according to figures from BARB, the broadcasters' audience research board. Last year ITV spent £1bn while C4's spending on content was £629m. Netflix spent £100m alone on making the lavish royal drama, The Crown. To try to compete, public service broadcasters like the BBC, the biggest operator in the UK market thanks to its £3.7bn annual licence fee revenue, are teaming up with big American production houses to make hit dramas such as The Night Manager, a joint production with US group AMC. But arguably the biggest challenge for the next chief executives at both ITV and C4 is how to compete for advertising revenues in a market dominated by the Silicon Valley tech groups Google and Facebook.

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