Good news if you’re over 35 and/or like I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here – the UK independent broadcaster, ITV is to invest UK£36 million in its two digital channels, ITV2 and ITV3, by scrapping its plans for a children’s channel and choosing instead to focus on News and its digital offerings.
This means that ITV2 has its programme making budget doubled to UK£24 million, and ITV3 gets UK£13 million for its launch later this year.
ITV2 is going to use that extra cash to buy in American imports to compete with Channel 4 and Sky – so rather than attract an audience with original programming it’s going to buy in the content that the others channels show in the hope that it will somehow wrestle views away from them.
By making the investment, ITV hope to triple their total revenues to UK£150 million (€225 million) by 2007. Net advertising revenues are up 4.9% over this period last year, but viewer share continues to fall.