Nothing fake about reaction to STV’s continuing improvement

STV: Revenue outperforming ITV
STV: Revenue outperforming ITV
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STV today unveiled its latest commission and said revenue was outperforming the ITV network.

Fake Reaction – an eight-part series in which celebrities compete to hide their natural reactions to unusual situations – will be delivered to digital channel ITV2 early next year.

It will be hosted by Radio 1 DJ Matt Edmondson and was developed in conjunction with Kinetic Content, STV’s US partner.

The commission follows other recent wins such as a 20-part cookery show for BBC2 and eight episodes of Catchphrase for ITV1.

Chief executive Rob Woodward said STV’s production arm is expected to deliver £12 million of revenue this year.

National advertising revenues were down 3 per cent in the third quarter but for the final two months of this year are expected to be “slightly ahead” of those for ITV, bringing full-year sales in line with those of the broader network. Regional airtime revenue is projected to rise by 3 per cent for the full year.

In contrast to the tough television advertising market, STV’s smaller digital division continues to grow, with revenues up 70 per cent in the third quarter.

STV said it remains cautious on the outlook for 2013, but “is encouraged by its strong on-screen performance”, where the Scottish group is outperforming its ITV counterpart. Woodward added that STV was making “strong progress” in the growth of non-broadcast earnings, expected to account for one-third of profits by 2015.

“The succession of commissions secured by STV productions from an increasing range of channels demonstrates the progress we’re making in growing our content business,” he said.

“This combines with a sustained improvement in operating margins in our broadcast and digital businesses.”