×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ITV Unveils Strategic Refresh, Talks Up U.K. SVOD Plans

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said Wednesday that the U.K. broadcast giant will focus on growing its content business and direct-to-consumer offerings under her leadership as part of a strategic refresh. She talked up the potential for a new subscription streaming service in the U.K., a major move for a company that has been built on TV advertising revenue. Talks are underway with “a range of potential partners,” the ITV chief said.

“We have done a lot of analysis as part of the strategy refresh and what comes out very clearly is that there is a real demand for British, distinctive, content – 92 of the top 100 programs in Britain today are British programs,” McCall said. “There is a demand from people to have that content and they are willing to pay…There is a bit of a gap and a bit of a window.”

With the BBC and AMC, ITV already operates the BritBox streaming service in North America. In the U.K. it has ITV Hub+ and SVOD will be a focus for the company. Unveiling a strategy dubbed ‘More than TV’ ITV said it will concentrate on three areas – growing the domestic and global content business, creating a direct-to-consumer business, and its traditional broadcaster-producer activity.

“ITV will be more than TV,” McCall said. “It will be a structurally sound integrated producer broadcaster where we aim to maintain total viewing and increase total advertising revenue; it will be a growing and profitable content business, which drives returns; and it will create value by developing and nurturing strong direct consumer relationships, where people want to spend money on a range of content and experiences with a really trusted brand.”

The new strategy, which is a “a refresh not a reboot,” will have £40 million ($52.6 million) behind it in 2019, and £60 million over the next three years. That outlay will be offset by up to £40 million in cost savings.

McCall would not be drawn on whether ITV was interested in buying Endemol Shine, which is on the block and attracting big-name suitors. “We will look at M&A in a very returns-focused way,” she said. ITV has been an active acquirer of production businesses in recent years, notably in the U.S.

Outgoing CFO Ian Griffiths addressed ITV’s ambitions in U.S. drama production and said there will not be a major acquisition, with talent deals seen as the way forward. “We’re looking at investing in U.S. scripted, [but] not in scale, and one of the things we are ruling out is a significant M&A investment,” he said.

The company upped revenues for the six months to end-June. They came in at £1.6 billion, an 8% increase year-on-year. ITV Studios continued to perform well with half-year revenues of £803 million, a 16% uptick. EBITA profit declined 7% to £375 million, with a 12% decline in broadcasting and online partially offset by 7% growth at ITV Studios. ITV said World Cup costs hit the broadcasting segment.

More TV

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

  • 'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First

    'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First Docusoap on the State of Reality TV

    Netflix crossed another unscripted threshold on Friday with the launch of “Selling Sunset,” an 8-episode series that follows a group of real estate agents on the Sunset Strip. The show is believed to be the streaming service’s first docusoap, the now-ubiquitous format first popularized in the early 2000s by shows like MTV’s “Laguna Beach” and [...]

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

  • 'Supernatural' to End After Season 15

    'Supernatural' to End After Season 15 on The CW

    “Supernatural” is ending after 15 seasons. Series stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins made the announcement in a video posted on Instagram on Friday. “We just told the crew that even though we’re very excited to be moving into our 15th season, it will be our last,” Ackles said. “15 years of a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content