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ITV boosted by Rugby World Cup and Love Island


The Rugby World Cup and dating show Love Island helped bolster viewing figures and advertising revenue for ITV over the past three months.

Highlights included four of the five highest-rating new dramas this year and a peak audience of 12.8m for the final of the Rugby World Cup between England and South Africa.

The broadcaster said it had reached its target of 30m registered users of its ITV Hub before schedule. Advertising revenue was up 1% in the third quarter, despite Brexit uncertainty forcing companies to adopt a cautious approach to spending.

The final quarter is expected to be either flat or up 1%, after falling 5% in the first half of the year.

Chief executive Carolyn 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.

“We have successfully launched BritBox and are encouraged by the positive feedback received on the service so far. We have also agreed a distribution and marketing deal with BT and EE and a content partnership with Channel 4.

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Northern Digital Awards 2020

The entry deadline for the Northern Digital Awards has been extended to this Friday

The entry deadline for the Northern Digital Awards has been extended to this Friday

“Development of our addressable advertising platform is on track for a roll out to media agencies in Q1 2020. We remain very focused on building a digitally led media and entertainment company to create a stronger, more diversified and structurally sound business.

“We have a solid balance sheet which enables us to make the right investment decisions and deliver returns to shareholders in line with our guidance of at least an 8p dividend for 2019.”

Meanwhile, ITV reported “positive feedback” on BritBox, a joint venture with the BBC to collect all their own production on one platform, which was launched in April offering a £5.99 monthly subscription fee.

The company’s shares have risen 30% in the past three months as improving advertising trends and demand for new programming, particularly in the US, have bolstered the business. They closed up 1.7% at 138p on Tuesday, though they are still down on their 155p peak of a year ago and 275p four years ago.

ITV’s results were announced on the same day as the North American and Dutch launch of Disney+, the new streaming service by Walt Disney. The Disney+ service is expected to have up to 90mln global subscribers by 2025 and currently the subscription costs half of Netflix’s US monthly fee.

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