Digital TV boosts Channel 4’s performance

Channel 4’s digital television services helped the broadcaster offset losses at its mainstream TV channel last year, which saw advertising revenue fall by 10.5%.

The broadcaster registered a profit of £53.4m for its digital TV services in 2009 and £3m from its online/on demand service, against a £61.6m loss at its core TV channel.

The annual report follows the news that Channel 4 is to create a single cross platform division that integrates TV and digital.

The company restructure will lead to the number of senior management roles being cut by 25%.

The broadcaster’s digital TV channels – E4, Film4, More4 and 4Music grew their share of TV viewing by 9% to 4.1% and increased revenues 4% to £181.3m.

Terrestrial station Channel 4’s share of TV viewing fell to 11.5% from 11.9% in the previous year.

The broadcaster says last year was the “worst” in its history as advertising revenues fell 10.5% to £706.7m.

Spending on new programming was also down 8% or £50.3m to £548.3m.

Chief Executive David Abraham says the group has “created a stable financial base that allows us to commit with confidence to a fresh round of creative and commercial innovation”.

He adds that the group will be able to “take advantage of opportunities that arise from the ongoing convergence of television and other media”.

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