British TV giant ITV on Wednesday reported a 14 percent drop in third-quarter ad revenue amid tough comparisons from a year ago. That means ad revenue was down 2 percent for the nine months through September.
However, the company is forecasting a strong final quarter of the year, helped by the World Cup, and says the full year 2022 should see a 1-1.5 percent decline in advertising.
Meanwhile, the company’s ITV Studios unit sales grew 16 percent in the first three months of 2022.
ITV’s ad revenue in the first half was up 5 percent, but the second quarter saw a 5 percent drop amid difficult comparisons to the same period last year, with strong results for last year’s Euro football tournament.
“For the nine months to the end of September, (total ad revenue) is expected to be broadly flat compared to the same period in 2021,” ITV had forecast in late July. “Compared to 2019, the nine months are expected to increase by 8 percent,” it added in a comparison with pre-COVID pandemic trends.
In the current fourth quarter, ITV and the BBC will see air matches from the World Cup in Qatar. Industry analysts have also been monitoring how economic challenges affect advertising trends. ITV management emphasized in late July that it was “aware” of and closely monitoring macroeconomic clouds, but the company has so far seen no impact on its advertising business.
ITV, led by CEO Carolyn McCall, said on Wednesday that total advertising revenue (TAR), including digital advertising and sponsorship, fell 9 percent in July, 21 percent in August and 14 percent in September. It added: “The TAR is expected to fall between 1 percent and 1.5 percent over the full year, with October falling 9 percent, November expected to rise about 3 percent and December expected to rise about 5-10 percent increase compared to the same year periods in 2021.”
The British TV giant will launch its new free, ad-supported streaming service ITVX on December 8.