Blog Post

ITV: Seeks PSB Reduction, Could Get BBC Help, VOD Traffic Up

After slashing regional news budgets, cutting children’s programmes and downsizing its PR team, troubled ITV (LSE: ITV) is back in the spotlight, seeking Ofcom’s permission to slim its public service TV content commitments by £150 million between 2009 and 2012, Times reports. Its submission to the regulator’s ongoing second review in to public service broadcasting will come as a shock in that ITV has already slashed so much of its budget as it tries to tackle the twin pressures of dwindling audience and falling ad income.

The BBC – which many have speculated could be asked to hand over part of its license fee to ITV and Channel 4 – has rejected that option, but has suggested sharing some of its newer technologies with the rivals, Times adds. Director general Mark Thompson said it could share the tech it is currently using to digitise all shows, doing away with video tape, but there is also a suggestion it could share local news material, too.

One light in ITV’s dark – the catch-up facility at ITV.com, which launched in August and has since languished in the face of better-promoted BBC iPlayer, reported a fourfold traffic increase to 12 million monthly views in May since the launch, Variety reports. These figures are somewhat obvious, however, since ITV did not have a significant catch-up operation prior to August.