May 8, 2019

ITV revenues fall ahead of streaming launch

ITV revenues kept falling at the start of 2019 as the UK commercial broadcaster prepares to launch streaming service BritBox to sidestep cooling interest for linear TV. A trading update published on Wednesday showed first-quarter like-for-like revenues dropped 4 per cent to £874m. Advertising revenues declined by 7 per cent, to £417m, while ITV Studios, the company's production arm, increased revenues by 1 per cent, to £385m. "ITV's performance in the first three months was very much as we expected," said Carolyn McCall, ITV chief executive. ITV announced in February that it would partner with the BBC to launch a subscription streaming service to offset declining TV consumption, sliding advertising revenues and competition from online platforms. Analysts at Liberum were "Surprised" that ITV did not outperform expectations, after STV, which holds the ITV1 license in Scotland and matches ITV1 advertising revenues, had reported advertising revenues would be ahead of guidance. "Overall we are disappointed by the figures, and there is a question mark here over how ITV seems to be lagging somewhat the performance of others." Liberum kept its recommendation on ITV as "Buy". Shares in ITV fell around 2 per cent in early trading in London.

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