ITV viewing numbers feel the pressure

Despite the success of Downton Abbey and rising advertising revenues, there was gloom for ITV
Despite the success of Downton Abbey and rising advertising revenues, there was gloom for ITV
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Broadcaster ITV said its viewing figures continued to come under pressure in the first four months of the year, but hailed a strong performance in advertising revenues.

The group said it remained “firmly focused” on improving its share of viewers as the figure fell 3 per cent, following a 5 per cent slide last year amid strong competition from the BBC.

ITV – home to period drama Downton Abbey – said net advertising revenues rose 12 per cent to £754 million in the first three months of the year, adding that after stripping out the benefit of acquisitions, its studios business also returned to organic growth.

It said its key measure of net advertising revenue was expected to rise by around 5 per cent in the first half of the year, although ITV Family ad revenues were down by 5 per cent in April and forecast to fall 5 per cent and up to 7 per cent in May and June respectively due to tough comparisons after last year’s World Cup.