With a kick from the Rugby World Cup and the performance of production arm ITV Studios, total revenues at ITV are up 13% to £2.3B ($3.47B) for the nine months ended September 30 compared to the similar period in 2014. Boss Adam Crozier says the company is on track to deliver another strong year of “double-digit profit growth” aided by a 6% jump in net advertising revenues to £1.22B in the nine-month period. In Q3 alone, those rose 8% as advertisers scrummed for the rugby — England exited in early October, after the reporting period closed. Crozier said net ad revenue is expected to be up a total 5% for the full year.
Non-advertising revenues rose 22% to £1.09B. ITV Studios contributes to that, seeing a jump of 28% to £782M, driven by acquisitions and 9% organic growth over the nine months. The company has been on a well-touted spending spree when it comes to production companies and this year bought The Voice maker Talpa Media. The competition show is poised to exit the BBC which has been its home for five years after beating ITV in a bidding war. It is expected to land at ITV, which has already committed to a children’s version of the show. If The Voice does head to ITV, it could result in scheduling issues with two major competition shows, The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent already among the flagships.
Concerning another flagship, ITV is about to lose period drama Downton Abbey when the Christmas episode airs next month. However, viewership across all ITV channels is showing improvement with a 3% dip in the full period compared to last year’s similar frame, but better than the 7% drop in the first semester of 2015. Crozier said all parts of the business are “performing well.”
The executive particularly noted the U.S. and global performace of ITV Studios. He cited U.S. dramas Aquarius and The Good Witch which have been re-upped, and highlighted upcoming UK dramas which include epic Beowulf, along with Jessica Raine-starrer Jericho, Jenna Coleman royals drama Victoria and Tutankhamun with Max Irons and Sam Neill, all due in 2016. A recent stab at teatime viewing, Jekyll & Hyde, has been underperforming and hit with complaints from viewers about violence before the watershed.