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

  • Orlando Bloom Comic Con Immigrant San

    Orlando Bloom Claims San Diego Mayor Ran From Comic-Con Exhibit Featuring Immigrant Characters

    Did an immigration storyline cause Republican San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to run out of Amazon Prime Video’s Comic-Con activation this week? According to “Carnival Row” star Orlando Bloom, that’s exactly what happened. At Amazon’s “Carnival Row” panel, Bloom told the audience that Faulconer stopped by the Prime Video activation and chose the “Carnival Row” [...]

  • 'Game of Thrones' Cast Calls Final

    'Game of Thrones' Cast Calls Final Season Backlash 'Media-Led Hate Campaign'

    What is life like now after “Game of Thrones?” That’s the question that fans have been asking themselves and that cast members had to answer at the show’s final Comic-Con panel. But first, Conleth Hill, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and several others cleared the air and addressed the perceived negative response to the final season. “I don’t [...]

  • SDCC Roundup: AMC Drops 'The Walking

    SDCC TV News Roundup: AMC Releases 'The Walking Dead' Season 10 Trailer (Watch)

    San Diego Comic-Con has become a hotbed of entertainment news in recent years, especially for the television industry. In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, AMC dropped a trailer for the 10th season of “The Walking Dead” and FX released a first look at “Mayans MC” Season 2. FIRST LOOKS AMC debuted the trailer for Season [...]

  • ARCHER: 1999 -- "Cubert" -- Season

    'Archer' Renewed for Season 11 at FXX

    “Archer” has been picked up for an eleventh season. The announcement was made Friday at San Diego Comic-Con. The news comes less than a week ahead of the Season 10 finale. Season 11 is slated to debut on FXX in 2020. While the show initially focused on the agents and support staff of a covert [...]

  • Carnival Row

    Amazon Debuts New 'Carnival Row' Footage at Comic-Con (Watch)

    San Diego Comic-Con attendees got an extended look at the upcoming Amazon drama “Carnival Row” during the show’s panel at the annual fanfest on Friday. Two new featurettes (see above and below) offer in-depth looks at the backstories of the two main characters — Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevigne) and Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom). Delevigne plays [...]

  • Emmys: 'Better Call Saul' Short Loses

    'Better Call Saul' Short Loses Emmy Nominations in Light of Category Rule Violation

    Better Call AMC: Two Emmy nominations for the network’s short-form series “Better Call Saul Employee Training: Madrigal Electromotive Security” have been pulled after it was deemed ineligible for competition. The Television Academy recently discovered that the series didn’t meet the minimum required runtime of two minutes for at least six episodes — a new stipulation [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content