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ITV ad revenues up, audience down

Commercial broadcaster ITV has posted 14 per cent growth in net revenue for the three months ending March 2015. Total revenue was £665 million (920m), up from £585 million during the same period last year.

Broadcast and online revenue was also up by 10 per cent, to £530 million, along with the studios division, which saw revenue increase by 17 per cent.

The ITV network suffered a 3 per cent drop in its audience share and a 6 per cent drop on its main channel after a number of factual and entertainment flops. The broadcaster faces a tough challenge to turn around its declining audiences as it loses its rights to Champions League football at the start of next season, and with its most popular drama, Downton Abbey, coming to an end after the next season.

Adam Crozier, ITV chief executive, commented: “We’ve had a strong start to the year with further growth across all parts of the business. In April we completed the acquisition of Talpa Media, the creator of entertainment formats including The Voice, The Voice Kids, Utopia and Dating in the Dark, which marked an important step forward in our strategy of building a world-class production and distribution business.”

ITV’s results came out as staff staged a 24-hour strike to coincide with the company’s annual meeting. Unions have rejected a 2 per cent pay rise, saying they should get a higher increase in view of the TV company’s profits.

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