ITV’s overall revenues were down 16% in the third quarter to £2.17 billion (US$2.86 billion), despite the UK mediaco reporting higher advertising spend as its production arm ITV Studios continues to ramp up in the wake of COVID-19 delays.
ITV Studios revenue declined 19% to £902 million in the quarter, down from £1.12 billion in Q3 2019. The Love Island (pictured) producer has resumed the majority of its productions, with 85% of the 230 projects impacted or paused by the March/April lockdown delivered or back in production.
Still, those delays, the new national lockdown, social distancing and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus will continue to impact revenue and margin in Q4, ITV stated.
Broadcast revenue was down 13% to £1.27 billion in Q3, with ad revenue down 16% and online revenues up 2%. However, ITV reported improved trends in Q3 with total ad spend down 7% year on year (July was down 23%, August up 3%, September down 2% and October down 1% compared to the same periods in 2019).
The company forecasts total ad revenue to be up slightly year on year in Q4, with November up around 6% compared to the same period in 2019 — assuming current COVID restrictions in England end as planned Dec. 2.
Viewing rose 2% in Q3, while online viewing fell 6% — the latter ITV partly attributed to the postponement of Love Island‘s summer edition.
ITV Family’s share of viewing was down 4% to 22.2%, partly impacted by the volume of the BBC’s news output during the pandemic, the company stated.