ITV is failing to meet the challenge thrown down by the cable and
satellite channels, which are increasingly encroaching on its audience
share, according to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s
latest viewing trends report.
According to the IPA’s figures, ITV’s share of all TV viewing has
fallen from around 40 per cent in 1993 to 35 per cent by the end of
1996. The IPA pointed out that the viewing shares of other terrestrial
channels - BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4 - have remained virtually static.
Lynne Robinson, the IPA’s research director, said:
’Satellite and cable appear to be taking most of their share of viewing
The slide is exacerbating inflation in the TV airtime market, according
to media buyers. While ITV’s revenue is expected to be up by around 4
per cent across the first quarter of 1997, audiences have slipped
dramatically. For the 16- to 34-year-old audience, ITV was down 16 per
cent, GMTV down 4 per cent, Channel 4 down 7 per cent, but satellite up
12 per cent.
For ABC1 men, ITV fell by more than 13 per cent, compared with
increases of 17.5 per cent for GMTV, 2 per cent for Channel 4 and 15.5
per cent for satellite. Satellite’s performance was stronger among
children, recording a 46 per cent increase in audiences, compared with
a 15 per cent decline for ITV, a 17 per cent fall for GMTV and a 9 per
cent fall for Channel 4.
Bill Barker, the broadcast director of J. Walter Thompson, said that
the audience slide meant ITV’s cost inflation so far this year was
already ’very disappointing’.
Martin Bowley, the managing director of Carlton UK Sales, said: ’ITV’s
peaktime audiences are holding up, and our revenue is growing.’