STV investors look for ad rebound after tough 2020

Investors will be hoping Scottish broadcaster STV will report it is benefiting from an uplift in the advertising market when it unveils full-year figures tomorrow.

STV Player last week celebrating extending its reach on all major platforms across the UK by adding over 650 hours of drama, true crime and factual entertainment programming to its catalogue of content.

Although results from London-based counterpart ITV last week confirmed 2020 had been a tough year, it pointed to signs of an upturn in advertising revenue over the coming months.

Analysts at Shore Capital also expect the Glasgow-headquartered broadcaster to provide further details on the roll out of its on-demand service STV Player to other parts of the UK as well as the outlook for new content commissions.

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The broker has pencilled in revenues of £105.4 million for the financial year, down 15 per cent, with underlying earnings expected to drop by almost a quarter to £17.7m.

Although Shore says it has been a challenging period for the business and wider industry due to the impact of Covid-19 on advertising spend and disruption to production, it believes STV has also made “considerable progress” as evidenced by recent trading updates. They signalled a good finish to the year with better-than-expected regional and digital advertising revenues, a very strong viewing performance and positive momentum in commissioning activity.

Last week the group said its STV Player had added over 650 hours of drama, true crime and factual entertainment programming to its extensive catalogue of content.

The free video-on-demand service has signed deals with distributors Entertainment One and Sony Pictures Television, which bring the total number of boxsets now offered by the platform to over 150, with around 50 of these being drama series.

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