UK broadcaster ITV’s revenue fell in the first quarter of 2023, but streamer ITVX saw growth, according to figures released on Thursday.
Financial and operating performance for the three months to March 31 was “in line with expectations”, ITV said, with total overseas revenue down 7% to £776 million ($979.4 million), compared with £834 million ($1.05 billion) in the same period in 2022. m.
Total ITV Studios revenue was £457 million (2022: £458 million). In the UK and internationally, they include “Nolly” for ITVX, “Django for Sky,” Big Beasts for AppleTV+ and “Queer Eye” for Netflix.
ITV Media and Entertainment revenue fell 9% to £495m (2022: £545m), while overall advertising revenue fell 10%, which the broadcaster said was “better than the wider TV advertising market”. This sees digital advertising revenue rise by 30% year-on-year to £87m in 2022.
Free ad-supported streamer ITVX was the strongest performer in Q1 with 29% of total digital revenues and 49% of total streaming hours.
The broadcaster said it maintained its strength by delivering 93% of the top 1,000 commercial broadcast television programs and 34.4% of commercial viewing across channels.
Looking forward, the company said it expects ITV Studios to deliver at least 5% average organic revenue growth per year to 2026 and is committed to delivering an adjusted EBITA (earnings before interest, tax and expense) margin to ITV Studios. Between 13% and 15% by 2026.
ITV shares a similarly positive outlook in media and entertainment, with revenue expected to rise more than 20%, but says overall advertising revenue will fall 12% in the second quarter.
The broadcaster said it was beefing up ITVX’s content with “debauchery” and “crime and love and death”. “This is due to our deep relationship with advertisers and the high demand for digital advertising [advertising platform] “Planet V continues to deliver confidence that we will deliver at least £750 million in digital revenues by 2026,” ITV said.
ITV Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said: “ITV continued to make strong strategic progress during the quarter and all business units performed in line with expectations. ITVX continued its strong start in the quarter with 49% streaming hours and 29% digital revenue growth. Exclusives such as ‘Nolly’ and ‘Twelve’ attracted new viewers, with 80% of them browsing other content on ITVX. In addition, live simulcast viewing of our biggest shows and sporting events, including Love Island and the FA Cup, has attracted huge streaming audiences.
“ITV Studios continues to demonstrate significant strategic progress. With a strong content pipeline and committed revenues, it is on track to deliver mid-digit revenue growth for the full year, ahead of the market. This will follow revenue recorded in Q4 2022 and delivery is expected to scale through the second half of 2023.
“Total ad revenue in Q1 was down 10% – as expected and better than the broader TV ad market. We’re looking forward to Q3 attracting big broadcast and streaming audiences with ‘Love Island’ and the Rugby World Cup.”