Media agency ZenithOptimedia told The Guardian this week ITV could charge as much as £300,000 for a 30-second spot during England’s World Cup games. ITV shares broadcasting rights for the World Cup, which kicks off on 12 June, with the BBC.
Prices for the final are likely to be within the region of £40,000 to £100,000 – although they could be inflated if England manage to defy the odds and reach the final game.
Chief executive Adam Crozier says the broadcaster also expects to outperform the entire TV ad market in the first half and over the full year thanks to the World Cup and the “ongoing improvement in the UK advertising market”.
The broadcaster says net advertising revenue was up 19 per cent in April – despite the ITV portfolio’s share of viewing coming in “lower than expected” so far this year, down 8 per cent – and predicts it will rise 7 per cent in May and 12 to 15 per cent in June. These figures exclude sponsorship and online revenues.
ITV’s bullish estimates came as it reported a revenue increase of 1 per cent increase year on year to £672m in the three months to 31 March. Total external revenues were up 2 per cent to £585m.
The broadcaster said its performance was boosted by a 14 per cent revenue increase from online, pay and interactive formats, which helped offset 4 per cent decline in revenues from its Studios business. ITV said Studios revenues were impacted by “phasing of programme deliveries” but that it is confident of delivering growth over the full year driven by the acquisitions it has made.
Last week ITV acquired a controlling stake in US production company Leftfield Entertainment – creator of Pawn Stars, Real Housewives of New Jersey and Counting Cars – for £212m, a deal that means its US studios division is now the largest independent unscripted producer in the US.
ITV rival Channel 4 is also confident of a strong performance in 2014, predicting that it will post a financial break-even for the first time in two years for the fiscal year as it drives up innovation in both its programming and advertising offering.
Total UK ad spend is set to grow by 5.5 per cent in 2014 as the UK economy continues its recovery, according to the latest estimates from the Advertising Association and Warc.