U.K. broadcaster ITV increased its external revenues by a strong 28% for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2021, according to a trading statement that did not include profit and loss calculations, released on Wednesday.
External revenue rose to £2.3 billion ($3.1 billion), compared to £1.8 billion in 2020. Revenue for production arm ITV Studios revenue was up 32% to £1.19 billion compared to 2020’s £905 million.
Shows delivered by ITV Studios include “Vigil” for BBC One, “Physical” for Apple TV Plus, “The Long Call” and “Endeavour” for ITV, “Ten Year Old Tom” for HBO Max, “Snowpiercer” season 2 for Netflix and “Love Island” in the U.K. for ITV and in the U.S. for CBS.
Revenue from the media and entertainment business was up 26% at £1.59 billion, compared to 2020’s £1.26 billion. Total advertising revenue for 2021 is expected to be the highest in ITV’s history, the broadcaster said. It was up 30% for the nine months to the end of September 2021, with July up 68%, August up 24% and September up 16% compared to the same period in 2020.
ITV’s AVOD revenue remained robust, up 54% to the end of September compared to the same period in 2020, with online viewing up 39%.
Streamer BritBox U.K continues to “perform well and on plan,” ITV said, while BritBox International “is delivering strong growth in subscriptions across the U.S., Canada and Australia and successfully launched in South Africa in August with more markets expected in 2022.”
The ITV main channel’s share of viewing for period was up from 16.6% to 17.0% and ITV Family share was up from 22.2% to 22.5% with the Euro soccer championships, “Love Island” and dramas such as “Manhunt: The Night Stalker and “Vera” delivering strong ratings. However, ITV total viewing was down 5%, against a strong 2020 which was driven by the rise in viewing due to the lockdown.
ITV expects total schedule costs for 2022 to be around £1.16 billion. This includes the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, the FA Cup soccer championship and a strong schedule of dramas. The broadcaster also revealed that it is on track to deliver its previously announced £30 million cost saving target for 2021.
Carolyn McCall, ITV Chief Executive, said: “We are becoming an increasingly scaled digital business. Our online viewing was up 39% in the nine months which, together with the roll out of [advertising platform] Planet V, helped our video on demand advertising (AVOD) revenue to climb 54%. Our monthly active users now stand at 9.6 million, a 22% increase year on year reflecting the focus on our AVOD strategy.”
“ITV Studios continues to attract and support brilliant creative talent delivering significant growth in the U.K. and internationally,” McCall added. “It has produced the biggest dramas of the year so far on both the BBC and ITV and revenue from streamers globally is growing very strongly. Like the rest of our business, ITV Studios is embracing new digital processes with more of our productions being managed remotely, utilizing tools such as cloud-based editing.”
“Today’s results further illustrate that ITV has successfully completed the first phase of its More Than TV strategy and is accelerating the second phase of digital transformation as we evolve our products, user experiences and ways of working,” said McCall.