Sunday, March 07, 2010

ITV back in profit but what next?

After what was a tough and challenging year at ITV the company has reported profits.
New brooms Norman and Crozier now need to build on this success and retain focus, as the UK and the rest of Europe emerge from a deep recession advertising revenue is sure to bounce back but this will not mean that the company can ignore the structural changes within broadcasting.

ITV is a small fish in an increasingly large and turbulent pond and needs alliances and strategic partnerships to avoid being swallowed up by one of the larger players.

As an alternative Crozier and Norman can fatten the company up in preparation for a takeover by RTL or one of the other large European media outfits.

Under Grade big improvements were made and the company has become leaner and more efficient no longer saddled with 'Friends Reunited' it still has the challenge of moving away from its heavily regulated past and must deal with issues such as ITN who continue to make poor business decisions (such as getting into bed with Sports broadcaster Setanta).

ITV continues to make steady progress with its Internet strategy but has some distance to go to catch up with C4 and must consider the new kids like Arqiva's See-Saw.
It should not be forgotten that ITV continues to produce really high quality mass TV including Coronation Street (in its 50th Year) and audience magnets such as The X factor and I'm a Celebrity.. Where though does it go from here? Moving to a pay/subscription proposition is not going to be easy or quick. Although Norman and Crozier know advertising they haven't worked in Broadcasting and they need to continue to deliver audiences - it'll be interesting to see where ITV is in a years time and what the profits are in 2-3 years.
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