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ITV Grows Financials; Acquires Norway’s Mediacircus, Teams With Israel’s Reshet

By | Thursday July 26, 2012 @ 12:11am PDT

UPDATE: Just after announcing half-year results this morning, ITV said it has acquired Norwegian production company Mediacircus and has joined forces with Israeli broadcaster Reshet in a strategic development and production partnership. The moves fall in line with the company’s transformation plan as it aims to build a strong international content business. Mediacircus, which will become part of ITV Studios Nordic, produces factual and documentary programming. It currently produces the ITV Studios format Come Date with Me. Reshet develops and produces original drama and entertainment formats including Comedians At Work, Step Family and The Money Pump. Among its original dramas are A Touch Away, which has been licensed by HBO, and Life Is Not Everything, licensed by Sony Studios. Sharon Gelbaum-Shpan will head the venture’s Israeli office.

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: ITV chief exec Adam Crozier’s 5-year transformation plan at ITV is still underway and “gaining momentum.” The broadcaster reported its half-year results on Thursday morning with growth across all business areas. External revenues were up 10% to £1.13B with big increases at ITV Studios, Read More »

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ITV Confirms Simon Cowell Returning To Boost ‘Britain’s Got Talent’

Deadline contributor Tim Adler files this international report:

Simon Cowell will return as one of the judges on next year’s Britain’s Got Talent, ITV boss Adam Crozier has confirmed. The X Factor impresario will resume his seat on the talent show following the recent exits of judges David Hasselhof and Michael McIntyre. Speaking to press this afternoon in London, the ITV boss also hinted that ITV Studios may be in the market to buy an American production company, pointing out that the U.S. is the second-liveliest market for independent TV producers apart from the UK. For now though, Crozier is concentrating on wiping out the £612 million worth of debt he inherited by year’s end. “When you inherit something that isn’t working, the worst thing you can do is start bolting things on,” he said. Read More »

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ITV Revenue Lifts 11% In First 9 Months

By | Tuesday November 16, 2010 @ 4:31am PST

With 30-second primetime TV ads during next month’s The X Factor final now selling for £250,000 ($400,000), no wonder ITV expects 4th quarter ad revenue to rise by 10%. ITV’s revenue over the first 9 months has risen to £1.46 billion compared with £1.31 billion last year. Ad revenue rose by 16% between July and September. Booming ratings for The X Factor and Julian Fellowes’ Downtown Abbey – hurriedly re-commissioned for a 2nd series – have been key revenue drivers. Downton Abbey’s final episode drew an audience of more than 10 million. PBS is due to start showing Downton as part of Masterpiece Theatre in January. Indeed, the figures are expected to be so good ITV is thinking about reinstating its shareholder dividend. ITV has not made a payout to shareholders for almost 2 years.

ITV Studios, the broadcaster’s in-house production arm, dragged down Q3 figures though. Its earnings fell 10% to £205 million as ITV struggles to create hit new shows in-house. Both Downton and The X Factor are made by independent companies, even if ITV does sell ad space.

Announcing this morning’s results, ITV boss Adam Crozier said: “The economic outlook for 2011 is uncertain and we continue to plan on a cautious basis.” There won’t be any football World Cup to lift next year’s 1st half, plus there’s not going to be much London 2012 bounce as the BBC controls all TV rights. Crozier has said he wants to … Read More »

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ITV To Start Charging For Internet Extras

Adam Crozier, CEO of UK broadcaster ITV, has suggested making viewers pay for extra content, such as alternative endings. At one point he talked about charging Brit TV viewers to watch hugely popular soap Coronation Street first online, but rowed back from that. Crozier was speaking at the Royal Television Society international conference in London this afternoon. Everything on ITV.com is free at present. Crozier said his top priority is to invest in ITV.com, which he said had been woefully underfunded. The ITV boss reiterated that 50% of revenue must come from pay-TV, online and selling formats overseas, compared with 26% today. He’s not interested in making shows available on content aggregators such as Hulu though. TV commissions will be influenced by how they translate online, he said. “The first thing we need to turn is turn ITV.com into a really robust site,” said Crozier, who joined ITV as CEO in April. Increasing the amount of programming produced in-house by production arm ITV Studios is another priority. In-house only accounts for 47% of programme commissions, he said – and drops to 16% if you strip long-running soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale out. ITV is looking to acquire independent production companies to beef up ITV Studios. “We need to focus on more long-running renewable series,” he said. “Owning more rights is key to our future.” Crozier said that ITV’s historic problems haven’t stemmed from not knowing what to do but “a … Read More »

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ITV Denies That Massive Job Cuts Planned

By | Monday September 13, 2010 @ 8:31am PDT

The broadcaster has flatly rejected press reports that it’s planning to halve the 1,400 staff at its London South Bank HQ over the next few years. Or that more jobs will go among the 2,600 ITV staff members elsewhere in Britain and Europe. Announcing CEO Adam Crozier’s appointment in January, chairman Archie Norman said ITV’s priority was change “not cost reduction”. “That scale of job losses is certainly not on the agenda,” the broadcaster tells me. Talk that ITV was planning swingeing job losses surprised the City. Paul Richards, media analyst at Numis, tells me he doesn’t think there’s a pressing financial reason for heavy job losses right now. ITV’s debt load has come down as it emerges out of recession and the ad market picks up. “ITV is in a much stronger financial position than it was,” says Richards. “If there is a significant headcount reduction then it would be because Crozier and Norman think they can do the same job with fewer people.”

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ITV Boss Adam Crozier Says ‘We Need To Make Network Fit For Purpose’

By | Tuesday August 3, 2010 @ 8:59am PDT

Adam Crozier, CEO of ITV, stressed there are “no quick fixes or silver bullets” announcing today’s half-year results. Crozier has set a target of half the broadcaster’s ad revenue not coming from terrestrial TV within 5 years. Right now 74% of ITV’s income comes from TV spots. Crozier said ITV can’t continue being so reliant on “one volatile source of income”. The UK pay-TV ad market is currently worth £6 billion a year, while online advertising is worth £3 billion. “ITV has a zero per cent share of that,” he said.

Crozier said that ITV1’s programming budget will increase by £50 million to £800 million for the next two years. That’s still £20 million down on what it has spent this year – although most of that extra cash went to the World Cup. He also unveiled a separate £75 million fund for projects such as improving the ITV.com website over the next three years. Crozier thinks it’s crucial ITV improves its clunky web experience, especially with Project Canvas around the corner. Crozier expects to see tangible results of ITV improving its programming within 18 months.

As for what these new programmes will be, Crozier emphasised shiny floor light entertainment shows and long-running series as opposed to the two-night dramas ITV has been showing of late. Crozier pointed to US studio dramas as one way forward. The broadcaster singled out its remake of The Prisoner as a drama that failed.

Confirming that Sky … Read More »

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ITV To Go Behind Pay-Wall For First Time

By | Monday August 2, 2010 @ 4:37am PDT

The UK’s biggest private broadcaster is expected to announce that it’s taking high-definition versions of spin-off digital channels behind Sky’s pay-wall. Although audiences for HD versions of ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 are small, CEO Adam Crozier is planting a flag for the future. Eventually all TV channels will be high-definition, which means ITV could become subscription only.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that ITV is interested in buying Virgin Media’s 50% stake in UKTV, the pay-TV channels it runs with BBC Worldwide. UKTV runs 10 channels, including the popular Dave, which repackages recent BBC comedy shows. UKTV made £27.2 million profit in the first six months of 2010. Matthew Horsman of TV consultancy Mediatique envisages ITV putting its best older programmes together with recent BBC output, becoming a “Best of British” offer.

ITV is due to announce its half-year results tomorrow morning. RBS predicts that ITV will have an extra £120 million available to spend on programming on the back of operating profits rising to £156 million ($247 million) compared with just £46 million this time last year. Revenue is expected to have increased 9% to £995 million, says RBS.

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