Online viewing sees four-fold increase
British commercial terrestrial giant ITV has reported a surge in its Internet activities, including a four-fold increase in the use of its “catch-up” service, which allows viewers to watch shows they’ve missed that week, on ITV.com.The figures confirm that the success of the BBC’s iPlayer is encouraging U.K. auds to use rival broadcasters’ broadband-delivered offerings. ITV.com has seen a four-fold rise in video views since re-launching last August, according to ITV, with an average increase of 53% month on month. In May, there were 12 million views of programs or clips on ITV.com. ITV’s commercial director Jeff Henry said: “Our turnaround plan sets out our ambition to significantly grow our online assets, and these numbers reaffirm our belief in the potential of this area.” One of the biggest online hits is reality skein “Britain’s Got Talent.” On the day following the show’s June 1 season finale, 1.1 million video views of the program were recorded across ITV.com. ITV said it had experienced a 362% increase in overall usage for video across ITV’s portfolio of sites since last summer’s relaunch. It’s no surprise that veteran blue-collar soap “Coronation Street,” Blighty’s most popular show, is the most-watched program on ITV.com. “Gossip Girl” and “Pushing Daisies” were in seventh and 10th place, respectively, significantly more popular than their perfs on TV. Billie Piper starrer “Secret Diary of a Call Girl,” airing on Showtime Stateside, was ranked the eighth most-viewed show on the catch-up service. The impact of the BBC iPlayer, launched on Dec. 25, is such in the U.K. that industry commentators are beginning to say its high take-up rates may be a tipping point in how people watch TV. In April, the BBC service received 21 million requests for streamed and downloaded shows and clips.