Procter & Gamble associate media director Bernard Balderston has backed the Independent Television Commission’s (ITC) call for daytime factual TV to be “reinvigorated”.
The ITC’s report for 2001 says daytime TV is “perceived as a low priority” by commercial terrestrial broadcasters.
Singling out ITV1 in particular, the report adds: “More imagination is needed to reinvigorate programming and give it far greater diversity.”
The daytime schedule has particular appeal to household goods manufacturers such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever. Balderston, a long-time critic of the lack of strong daytime programming, says audience levels are falling as a consequence.
He adds: “Not enough investment is being given to daytime programming. A lot of people are available to watch daytime TV, because of changing working patterns.”
Balderston says that investment is instead being concentrated in the peak schedule by the likes of ITV1. The channel failed to attract significant daytime audiences with soap operas such as Night & Day and the relaunched Crossroads, both of which are facing the axe by the broadcaster.
The ITC, while recognising ITV1’s “strength” in providing drama, criticises the channel for its heavy reliance on certain stars. The body also says Channel 4 has had a “thin year” for drama.
The report added that the “proliferation” of soaps across all channels led to a lack of diversity and that original ideas were hard to come by in comedy.