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McCall: ITV emerging from worst of the pandemic

Broadcaster said it had seen "the largest advertising revenues for the month of June for ITV in its history"

ITV has seen a 27 per cent increase in external revenue in the first half of 2021 as advertising revenue jumped 29 per cent for the period.

The broadcaster said ad sales have been “rebounding” since April, and with advertising revenues up by 87 per cent in May compared to the same period in 2020, and by 115 per cent in June.

It added it has seen “the largest advertising revenues for the month of June for ITV in its history, benefitting from the easing of restrictions and the Euros.”

While the outlook for the second half of 2021 look “tougher”, ITV said it is “encouraged by the advertising outlook with July expected to be up 68 per cent and August up 17-20 per cent compared to the same period in 2020. It is too early to give a range for September given the current uncertainty but we expect it to be positive.”

ITV added that its UK streamer, BritBox UK, has reached around 550,000 subscribers.

However, despite a very busy June, with both Euro 2020 and the return of Love Island, ITV said linear viewing was down 6 per cent YoY. Meanwhile, ITV Hub showed a growth of 6 per cent.

“Our first-half results demonstrate that ITV is emerging from the worst effects of the pandemic,” said CEO Carolyn McCall. “We’ve continued to implement our key strategic priorities and have further strengthened the business.”

“We are now a more flexible, more efficient and more digital business,” she added. “We have successfully completed the first phase of our ‘More Than TV’ strategy and look forward to building on this platform to accelerate our transformation to a digitally led media and entertainment company.”