ITV chairman Michael Grade called for ITV’s suppliers to “give something back” to the ailing broadcaster as it attempts to get back on track. He made the comments in a speech at a conference for independent programmers.
Grade, speaking at the PACT Lab Conference, asked programmers to work with the broadcaster so it can exploit programmed brands on and off air to generate new revenue and money for programme investment. He said that ITV’s “genuine multi-channel, multi-plarform offering” opens up new opportunities to “exploit ‘our’ content”.
He made the comments as he compared his challenges at ITV to those facing Marks & Spencer’s chief executive Stuart Rose when he joined the then struggling retailer.
He said: “Stuart Rose recounts that when he arrived to attempt the turnaround, he sat down with suppliers, share his problems with them and came to a consensus as to how the suppliers could give something back to help him restore the business to good health. Some pain to achieve real gain. That time has come at ITV.”
Grade made the comparison after telling the conference that a weak advertising market, fragmenting audiences and the constraints of the CRR mechanism are “an increasing threat to ITV’s ability to invest in original programming.”
He added new ways to generate revenue include video on demand, international format rights and sales of DVDs and mobile clips.