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Love Island boosts ITV results

Love Island was the most watched show of the year among UK 16-34s

ITV has said it has performed “modestly better than expected” in the first half of 2019, with reality hit Love Island providing a boost and subsequently receiving a double order for 2020.

The UK commercial broadcaster’s total advertising revenue was down 5%, but ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said this was less than expected, while revenue is also down.

ITV, which McCall wants to make less reliant on ad sales and to turn into a digital entertainment company, also reported a 6% revenue slide at its studio arm, which it said was expected, with deliveries weighted to the second half of 2019.

Carolyn McCall

ITV’s digital strategy is being spearheaded by BritBox, its joint streaming service with UK pubcaster the BBC, which is due to launch in the UK in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“ITV delivered another good viewing performance in the first half of the year. Online revenues grew strongly, up 18% despite tough comparatives, with Love Island providing a strong finish to the half. This was reflected in better than expected total advertising revenue,” said McCall.

“The economic and political environment remains uncertain but we are very focused on delivering our strategy and creating a stronger, more diversified and structurally sound business to enable ITV to take advantage of evolving viewing and advertising opportunities.

“We are making good progress in each area of our strategy as we become an increasingly digital entertainment company. BritBox is set to launch in Q4, as is our new programmatic addressable advertising platform and we are accelerating our digital and data capabilities.

“ITV Studios has a solid pipeline of new and returning shows this year – from I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! to World on Fire to Snowpiercer – and is firmly on track to deliver our full-year guidance,” added McCall.

Love Island, the most watched programme of the year among adults aged 16-34, across any UK channel, will return with two editions next year, with the first set to air on ITV2 in early 2020.

The ‘winter’ version of Love Island will be filmed in a villa in South Africa, while the usual summer series will return to Europe.

Paul Mortimer, head of digital channels and acquisitions at ITV, said: “Love Island has proven yet again to be the perfect format that engages younger audiences. In response to this viewer appetite, a new batch of young singletons will deliver some highly anticipated post-Christmas romance and drama from our new and luxurious location.”

Love Island UK is produced by ITV Studios Entertainment and Motion Content Group. It is based on a format owned by ITV Studios and Motion Content Group and is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.


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