I cannot believe the barrage of bullshit emanating from the ITV
Network Centre, justifying the reduction in their self-imposed share
audience target for 2000.
One minute they’re telling us how fantastically they’ve done in
reversing a seemingly irreversible downward trend - then suddenly it’s
all desperately tough out there and we’re ever so sorry, but we need to
reduce our share target.
Apparently the reason is that multi-channel growth, and in particular
digital, has been so strong, that it’s taken them by surprise. Oh
Well, let’s adopt a fresh approach to this extra-terrestrial
Let’s do something that ITV has chosen not to do - publicly at
Let’s look at the numbers.
First and foremost, ITV did not grow share last year. Its share dropped,
just as it’s dropped in each of the last eight years. The number of
multi-channel homes last year grew by 5.5 per cent. Hardly an
earth-shattering increase. What did ITV have written into their plan? A
So, there’s a share problem in multi-channel homes, then? No, that’s the
same (24.5 per cent) as it was a year ago.
OK, so ITV must be getting stuffed in these new Sky Digital homes?
Er ... no.
Their share is a respectable 22 per cent.
Holding up pretty well, in fact. And that’s among early adopters. Surely
once the digital base broadens out, ITV should do better?
Given that both Sky and ONdigital have been lobbing boxes out for some
time, it’s difficult to imagine a sudden surge in digital ownership. So
that can’t be it either.
One arrives at the inescapable conclusion that the ITV powers-that-be
are indulging in a bit of smoke and mirror action here. Come on boys,
stop messing about. Give us the real excuse.
It would be a breath of fresh Eyre.
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Diary editor, Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6.