In a third-quarter trading update on Tuesday, ITV said that ITV Studios’ total sales should increase to around £1.8BN ($2.3BN) in 2019, with CEO Carolyn McCall highlighting “good growth across the business, particularly from ITV America.”
Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen and TNT drama Snowpiercer were among the other shows she namechecked as she reflected on the performance this year, although it was not all good news. McCall said the “phasing of deliveries” of shows this year will “adversely impact ITV Studios’ performance in 2020.”
ITV Studios’ revenue stood at £1.1BN for the nine months to the end of September, which was up 1% on the same period in 2018, according to the trading update. However, this gain was offset by a decline in advertising revenue, which meant ITV’s overall revenue has fallen for the year to date.
The company’s total external sales stood at £2.2BN for the first nine months of 2019, down 2% year-on-year. Advertising revenue fell 3% to £1.24BN, with ad sales expected to be down 2% for the full 12 months of 2019.
McCall said: “ITV’s overall performance for the first nine months of 2019 was as we expected, and although the economic environment continues to be uncertain, we are making good progress in executing our strategy.”
The CEO has talked about her “more than TV” strategy for ITV since taking charge in January 2018, and she is focusing on areas of the business like ITV Studios and BritBox — the streamer it launched with the BBC last week — because audiences are falling. ITV’s trading update revealed that its total viewing hours were down 700M to 12BN in 2019 across television, ITV Hub and other platforms. This was despite big audiences for the Rugby World Cup.
Alongside the earnings, ITV unveiled its new addressable ads platform Planet V, which it has built alongside digital company Amobee. It will give advertisers and agencies control over their ad campaigns on ITV Hub. ITV managing director Kelly Williams said: “Planet V is a significant step forward for us, meeting the widening demands of advertisers and bringing ITV’s unparalleled combination of mass simultaneous reach and targeted advertising.”