ITV Boss Carolyn McCall has expressed concern that Britain’s cost-of-living crisis could start hampering broadcasters’ incomes as they emerge from the pandemic, while BBC Director-General Tim Davy has warned against “complacency” about changing audience habits.
ITV’s main source of revenue is advertising, but that revenue is “strongly linked to the economy,” according to McCall, who said the “dark” period could affect the network’s revenue.
She spoke at the Deloitte and Enders conference on media and telecommunications a day after ITV published strong first-quarter results and a few weeks after it published record advertising revenues for the entire 2021 year.
The UK is currently in the midst of a serious cost-of-living crisis: energy and gas bills are rising and businesses are expressing serious concerns about what this will do to the economy.
Despite expressing concern about the cost of living, she objected that “people have realized the value of TV advertising [post lockdown] and how you can convey an emotional message. ”
And while ITV’s share price is falling, she said it “by no means reflects our performance” after strong recent results, pointing to external problems such as the war in Ukraine.
McCall spoke at a panel of PSB executives featuring BBC Director-General Tim Davy, Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon, Channel 5– the owner Primary UK boss Maria Kiriakou and STV CEO Simon Pitts.
Everyone passionately asserted the power of the PSB in the future and in the face of numerous threats.
Mehon, whose broadcaster is to be sold by the UK government, said the UK was “far above other countries in its PSB provision”, pointing to “terrible” public service offers in countries like the US with NPR or Russia, which has been widely condemned for the state-controlled broadcasting sector.
“We should be very proud of what we have here, and be very careful to do things that may seem unintentional, but certainly not unpredictable,” she added, referring obviously to the Channel 4 sale.
Pitts also argued that streamers are not safe from the cost of living crisis, and referred to the difficulties experienced by people like Netflix in the UK.
He noted that episodes of the Channel 5 show, such as Susan Kalman’s proposals, look more than streamers like Bridgeton. “We need a look at what’s going on in the market,” Pitts said.
Asked where the sector would be in five years, BBC boss Davy warned against “complacency” when it comes to changing viewers’ habits, which could have “serious consequences”.
“My organization is very focused on broadcasting, but we need to move our content where people want to watch,” he explained. “Look at how many people are watching TV from their mobile phones. We need to figure out how PSB will work in any environment. Any complacency will end in serious consequences, and the debate over licensing fees is central to that. ”
For McCall, the next five years will see a greater consolidation of Britain and Europe in the week acquired by Fremantle Normal people manufacturer and the energy of the Drama Theater Element Pictures, while Kiriaku said it would be a “continuation of trends that accelerated during Covid”.
Kiriakou also spoke about the imminent launch of the Paramount + streamer, the launch date of which in the UK is June 22.
“We can use the knowledge we have gained by targeting the British on Channel 5 and look at the world,” she added. “I want British content to succeed on the world stage through Paramount +.”