UK commercial PSB ITV is to restructure its broadcast business in a move it says will better reflect and serve changing viewing habits. ITV will establish a new Media and Entertainment Division with two new business units – Broadcast and On-Demand.
The Broadcast business will continue to deliver ITV’s USP of mass simultaneous reach. ITV’s main channel provides 95 per cent of commercial audiences over 5 million and will remain the home of award-winning drama, the biggest entertainment shows, sport that grips the nation and ITV’s hugely popular news and Daytime shows.
The On-Demand business unit will be the focus of digital product development and growth for ITV. It will grow ITV’s online offering by providing new content that appeals to audiences who already do most or all of their viewing on demand and will serve it to them in whatever way they want to access it. This unit will include Hub, Hub+ (the ad free version of the Hub) and BritBox – the digital video subscription service created by the BBC and ITV which brings together the very best in past, present and future British programming.
Just as the ITV Studios division currently does, the Media and Entertainment division will have full P&L responsibility for all its activities, costs and revenue. Both Divisions will be supported by leaner central support services. As well as aligning ITV’s resources and investments clearly to the two main ways of viewing, the restructure will drive improvements in efficiency and reduce cost. The process of restructuring has now started and will be fully complete by the end of March 2021.
Kevin Lygo (currently ITV’s Director of Television) will be MD of the Media and Entertainment Division and he will continue to run the Broadcast business unit. Rufus Radcliffe (currently ITV’s Chief Marketing Officer) will head up On-Demand. As a result of this restructure, ITV will be recruiting a new CMO as well as a new Chief Operations Officer for Media and Entertainment. Both of these new roles will report to Lygo.
“Our new Media and Entertainment Division will enable ITV to continue to deliver mass, live audiences while investing in the future to create the sort of content and viewing experience that younger, and other harder to reach viewers want,” commented Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO.
“ITV will continue to broadcast shows which entertain millions of viewers. Most are watched live and that fact together with the scale of these audiences will continue to offer unrivalled opportunities for brands to reach consumers. Linear channels will be around and be profitable for many years but we also need an On-Demand business which will increasingly be the focus of our new investments in content and technology and which will be our growth engine attracting younger and more targeted audiences to ITV.”
ITV also plans to reduce its London office space over the coming years to reflect the changing needs of the business in the context of its digital transformation and the move towards more flexible working as well as taking cost out of the business. At this stage, no decision about exactly what this means for ITV’s current London offices has been made as the company assesses the sort of space needed to support the business in the future