UK commercial broadcaster ITV’s revenues have dropped by 3% over the quarter, with ITV family net advertising revenues tumbling by 9%, but hopes changes to retransmission rules will help boost the coffers.
In a trading update, ITV said it expected net advertising revenues to be down between 8% and 9% for the first half, in part due to tough year-on-year comparisons with 2016, which included the Euro 2016 football tournament.
Revenue for Q1 was £731 million (US$940.2 million). Broadcast and online revenues fell by 6% while ITV Studios revenue rose by 7% to £343 million.
On the upside, ITV said that pay and interactive revenues continued to grow, driven by increased demand for online advertising, up 22%. ITV Studios total revenues grew 7%.
ITV’s main channel share of viewing was up 4%, while the ITV family of channels’ share of viewing was up 2% and online viewing was up 32%
“ITV’s overall performance and the shape of the UK advertising market are very much as we anticipated and our guidance for the full year remains unchanged,” said outgoing CEO Adam Crozier.
He added that he believed ITV’s share of broadcast revenue would grow, along with strong growth in online, pay and interactive revenue. He said ITV Studios would also report solid growth for 2017.
Crozier also indicated that he believes changes in UK legislation will open the way for ITV to levy retransmission fees from distribution partners.
However, operators such as Sky and Virgin Media are expected to strongly resist the levying of retransmission payments.
Analysts have been downbeat on ITV’s prospects, with Brexit having an impact on ad revenues. There is also scepticism about the prospects for agreement on retransmission.