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Volume 7 No. 149
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ITV Expecting Ad Revenue To Rise 2% Thanks To World Cup

ITV is expecting ad revenue to rise 2% in the first half of the year "thanks to strong online growth" and the World Cup in June, which "should offset a plunge in April," according to Gideon Spanier of CAMPAIGN LIVE. Shares in ITV jumped 4% "on hopes that the football tournament will be a boon." Ad revenue, which includes sponsorship and video on demand, fell 13% in April, "partly because of an early Easter," and is set to rise 1% in May and 17% in June. Spot revenue, known as NAR, "dived" 15% in April and "was flat in May." ITV dropped its usual advance-booking deadlines for April and May, "which meant advertisers got to buy ad spots nearer to transmission time without losing their discounts" to boost revenue. Ian Whittaker, an analyst at Liberum Capital, said that June's "likely performance," with ITV forecasting a 15% rise in NAR, is "better than agency media buyers have been expecting." Whittaker described the divergent views of ITV and media buyers as a "potentially worrying question" for analysts. He said, "The fact that ITV's projected June growth is so far ahead of what buyers appear to have been saying suggests that advertisers have gone directly to ITV and bypassed the media buyers" (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 5/10).