ITV forecasts a tough Christmas

ITV sees revenues rise in autumn but predicts a tough ad market for Christmas and into 2012


  • The X Factor
    The X Factor helped ITV to a strong third-quarter performance. Photograph: Ken Mckay/Rex Features

    ITV performed strongly in the autumn thanks to the Rugby World Cup and shows such as The X Factor, but a tough Christmas will see TV ad revenues decline year-on-year in the fourth quarter and into 2012.

    ITV, reporting results for the first nine months of the year, said that TV ad revenue was up 1% in the third quarter.

    ITV's family of channels – comprising ITV1, 2, 3 and 4 – reported TV ad revenue up 2% in July, down 3% in August and up 7% in September.

    The broadcaster said that this was ahead of is own expectations and also ahead of the TV advertising market.

    However, the picture for the final quarter of the year is less rosy with ITV's total TV ad revenue expected to be down 2%. October was down less than 1%, November will be up slightly at 3% but December is expected to decline by around 10%.

    Adam Crozier, the ITV chief executive, all but said that TV ad revenues will continue to spiral downward year on year in the first quarter of 2012.

    He said that quarterly revenue trends are likely to follow a different pattern to 2011 – which saw growth in the first quarter before tapering off – with tough comparatives continuing into the first quarter before easing from the second quarter onwards, helped by the Euro 2012 football championship.

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