ITV could be facing a long-term cash crisis which could drive audiences
to the increasing number of rival TV channels, according to the contents
of a confidential paper by Yorkshire Tyne Tees Television’s managing
director, Bruce Gyngell.
Moving News at Ten from its normal slot to make way for uninterrupted
films and dramas has come back on the agenda, with Gyngell said to see
this as one way of generating more ad revenue.
Gyngell’s paper is understood to call for a complete overhaul of ITV’s
programme commissioning and scheduling procedures in a bid to cut costs
and improve efficiency to make the channel more competitive, saving as
much as pounds 180 million. This could include commissioning longer runs
of popular series.
Gyngell is said to believe that ITV has failed to recognise the growing
importance of cable and satellite TV channels, and the impending arrival
of digital TV.
The warning highlights ITV’s current problems over programme funding as
it tries to tweak its schedule to improve audience figures.
ITV audiences have declined over recent months, and there have been
internal calls for extra cash to be pumped into the Network Centre to
help bolster schedules (Campaign, 31 May).
However, some stations are said to be trying to resist the move because
they do not have the funds. YTTV is believed to be among these.