ITV hikes program budget 7%

Granada, Carlton woo advertisers

LONDON – In a bid to boost its sliding audience share, ITV announced Wednesday a £50 million ($77 million) increase in next year’s program budget to a record $1,278 million.

Charles Allan, chairman of Granada, the largest ITV company aims to boost confidence in the network by informing institutional investors and analysts at a Barcelona conference today of the 7% hike in spend, despite falling ad revenues.

Meanwhile, back in London Granada and Carlton hope to persuade advertisers to ink deals with the struggling commercial network following up-front presentations to advertisers.

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