ITV has recorded its lowest share of the commercial TV audience while
overall TV viewing continues its long-term decline.
According to the latest trends report from the Institute of
Practitioners in Advertising, ITV is now taking less than a 64 per cent
share of the total commercial audience, which includes Channel 4 and the
cable and satellite channels.
However, Channel 4 hit its highest share of viewing since 1991, taking
20.1 per cent of all viewing in the third quarter of this year.
The cable and satellite TV channels also recorded their combined highest
share of viewing, accounting for a 16 per cent share of all viewing of
The figures, which analyse viewing of all UK TV channels up to the end
of the third quarter of 1995, also show that average daily hours of
viewing for all TV channels was at its lowest for a decade.
Average daily hours of viewing for the terrestrial channels has
plummeted to 2.84, compared with 4.21 ten years ago. Viewing of all TV
channels, including cable and satellite and programmes videoed and
watched within seven days, is down to an average 3.21 hours a day.
The new figures come as ITV braces itself for a slump in revenue in the
run-up to Christmas. Revenue for December is expected to be just under
pounds 120 million, a fall of around 4 per cent on last year.
Bill Barker, the broadcast director of J. Walter Thompson, acknowledged
that ITV has had a bad year. ‘The BBC has made significant inroads and
the biggest loser is ITV. That’s disappointing for our clients - it
exacerbates inflation - but we expect ITV’s plans for 1996 to go some
way to halt the decline,’ he said.