NEWS: ITC criticises ITV over lightweight schedule

ITV’s drive to maximise its audiences and advertising revenue has led to an over-reliance on light-entertainment, according to the Independent Television Commission’s review of its licencees’ performance last year.

ITV’s drive to maximise its audiences and advertising revenue has led to

an over-reliance on light-entertainment, according to the Independent

Television Commission’s review of its licencees’ performance last year.



The ITC report identifies a noticeable shift in the overall balance of

the ITV schedule towards more entertainment-led programmes, and less

documentary and arts output.



‘Less obviously popular programming such as education, religion and arts

were often in the margins of the schedule,’ the report said.



Total revenue for the channel was up 3 per cent, to pounds 2.184

billion, with 77 per cent of this total coming from advertising and

sponsorship. Programme sales account for the rest.



The ITC singled out the number of bought-in programmes on Channel 4 as

an area of concern, but refused to attribute this decline to payments

made by Channel 4 to ITV under the Government’s funding formula.



GMTV’s performance was generally praised, although there was concern

about an over-provision of children’s entertainment programming.



Of the individual ITV contractors, Granada, LWT and Yorkshire were

criticised for the number of co-produced programmes, reducing the

regional content of the output.



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