X Factor slump could cost ITV £10m

Slumping audience figures for Simon Cowell’s The X Factor could cost ITV as much as £10 million (€12.5m) in TV advertising revenue.

This Saturday’s episode was down more than 2 million viewers on the same weekend in 2011, and the series as a whole is down by well over 1 million viewers an episode on average compared with last year.

Last year ITV charged roughly £120,000 for a 30-second TV ad during The X Factor, reports the Guardian, adding up to about £3 million an episode and more than £95 million for the series.

However, the audience decline this year means that ITV has not been able to charge the same level for a 30 second ad. On average the price has come down by about 10 per cent to £110,000, according to media buyers.

This means that if the audience levels fail to recover, ITV will make about £85 million from the series this year. In 2010, a standout year for The X Factor’s viewing figures, ITV made well over £100 million from the show.

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