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ITV targets on-demand viewing in corporate restructuring

ITV is undertaking a restructuring of its broadcast business while also exploring the reduction of its presence in London as the British commercial broadcaster struggles to overcome challenges associated with ...
October 19, 2020

ITV is undertaking a restructuring of its broadcast business while also exploring the reduction of its presence in London as the British commercial broadcaster struggles to overcome challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the new organizational structure, the network is establishing a new Media and Entertainment division that will encompass a dedicated On-Demand business unit alongside a traditional Broadcast branch.

Kevin Lygo (pictured), who currently serves as ITV’s director of television, has been tapped to become the managing director of the new overall division, with continued oversight of the traditional broadcast business. Rufus Radcliffe, ITV’s chief marketing officer, will helm the on-demand unit.

As a result of the restructure, ITV will be recruiting a new CMO as well as a chief operations officer for Media and Entertainment. Both roles will report directly into Lygo.

The On-Demand department will set its sights on digital product development and growth by providing new content appealing to audiences already accustomed to digital viewing. The unit will incorporate the ITV Hub; Hub+, the ad free version of the Hub; and BritBox, the streaming service from BBC Studios and ITV.

The broadcast business, meanwhile, will include all of ITV’s traditional linear networks.

The Media and Entertainment division will have full P&L responsibility for all its activities, costs and revenue, and both sectors will be supported by “leaner central support services,” the company said. 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.

ITV is currently in the process of streamlining its business, an initiative that will be fully completed by the end of March 2021.

“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,” ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said in an official statement.

“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.”

The British commercial network is also planning to reduce the footprint within its London offices over the coming years as it looks to offset costs associated to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A decision is yet to be made regarding which of ITV’s current London offices will be impacted by staffing reductions or relocations as the company is in the midst of assessing the space needed to support the business in the future. The broadcaster currently rents office space within three separate locations in London: Grays Inn Road and Waterhouse Square at Chancery Lane; and WestWorks at White City.

Earlier this year, ITV Studios reorganized its international distribution and commercial business, with the aim of strengthening its position as a creator, producer and distributor.

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