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ITV Revenues Decline in Q1 2024 Due to Hollywood Strikes, Despite Advertising Uptick

2024-05-09 07:48:50.267000

Linear television in the UK is facing a crisis as audiences and advertisers turn away [aa3a7e60]. ITV, one of the country's major broadcasters, reported a 7% decrease in total revenue to £887 million ($1.10 billion) in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023 [931b86dd] [ffaec802]. Advertising revenue grew by 3%, with an expected increase of around 12% in the second quarter [931b86dd] [ffaec802]. However, revenues from ITV Studios were down by 16% to £382 million due to the phasing of deliveries and the impact of the 2023 U.S. writers and actors strikes [931b86dd] [ffaec802] [c4839048]. The weaker demand from European free-to-air broadcasters also contributed to the decline [931b86dd] [c4839048]. The strikes are expected to delay around £80 million of revenues from 2024 into 2025 [c4839048]. The broadcaster expects ITV Studios' total revenues to remain flat for the full year 2024, with underlying growth offsetting the impact of the strikes [931b86dd] [ffaec802] [c4839048]. ITV remains on track to achieve at least £750 million of digital revenues by 2026 [931b86dd].

Channel 4 is also feeling the impact, as they are selling off their headquarters and cutting 240 jobs [aa3a7e60]. The BBC, another prominent broadcaster, had to slash 1,000 hours of new TV programs last year [aa3a7e60]. Rupert Murdoch's TalkTV has even abandoned its linear channel [aa3a7e60]. GB News, a relatively new player in the industry, lost £42.4 million in the past year [aa3a7e60]. The head of the broadcasting union BECTU has warned of a crisis in sustainable funding for linear TV [aa3a7e60].

The decline of linear TV can be attributed to the shift in audience behavior towards on-demand services and streaming platforms. Linear viewing is gradually dying out as viewers increasingly opt for the convenience and flexibility of on-demand content [aa3a7e60]. Broadcasters are facing the challenge of adapting to this changing landscape and finding new ways to engage audiences and attract advertisers. The decline in pre-tax profits and job cuts indicate the financial strain that broadcasters are experiencing as they navigate this crisis [aa3a7e60].

In the United States, there is also criticism of modern TV service, with concerns about excessive advertising and the content being offered. Loran Schulz, in a letter to the editor, describes TV service as a vast wasteland [b6defaf4]. Schulz criticizes the overpaid professional athletes and the excessive advertising that has taken over TV. They argue that the American public is being robbed of what was once a free service, as networks bid exorbitant amounts of money to cover games, leading to a pay-per-view model. Schulz also expresses frustration with the content of the ads, describing them as revolting and disgusting. They highlight ads promoting vanity, liposuction, shaving private parts, and numerous drug ads with dangerous side effects [b6defaf4]. Schulz calls for action from censors to get these ads off the air and expects medical professionals to lobby against them. They also express frustration with technology, feeling that people are being held captive by it [b6defaf4].

While the decline of linear TV in the UK is primarily driven by the shift to on-demand services, the criticism of modern TV service in the United States highlights additional concerns about excessive advertising and the content being offered. These criticisms reflect the challenges faced by broadcasters worldwide as they navigate the changing media landscape and strive to meet the evolving demands of audiences and advertisers.

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