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ITV advertising revenue tumbles 42pc in April

Revenues for ITV's Studios division slumped 11pc to £342m in the first quarter of the year

Advertising revenue at ITV tumbled 42pc in April as the lockdown sent the economy into deep freeze.

The company and other TV rivals have been hameered by a collapse in businesses after shops were shut and consumers ordered to stay at home.

Analysts had predicted a decline of up to 50pc in ad revenues, with Barclays telling clients the main unknown for the commercial broadcaster was predicting how much TV advertising would return when the economy reopens.

The slide followed a 7pc decline in external revenue to £694m in the three months to March.

Revenues for ITV's programme-making studios division slumped 11pc to £342m in the first quarter of the year as productions were forced to shut down due to coronavirus.

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe company will cut spending by £60m, has withdrawn the final dividend for 2019 and will delay payments to its pension fund in a scramble to save cash. It had already cut the programme budget by £100m to about £1bn.

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appChief executive Carolyn McCall said: "We are now very focused on emerging from this crisis in a strong position, continuing to offer advertisers effective marketing opportunities and making preparations to restart productions safely."

Along with rivals, ITV has been working on plans for a return to production protocol and is holding talks with the Government.

It has already resumed production of daytime chat show Loose Women this week and has broadcast the first installment of new prime time drama Isolation Stories.

The Telegraph gave four stars to the first episode, which opens with a Zoom meeting, and called it a "highly inventive way of making TV drama during lockdown".

 ITV Studios has also resumed production of The Chase and The Voice in Australia, as well as The Chase in Germany.

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe firm's main channel had its best quarter for viewing since 2009 with a marginal rise in market share to 17.9pc. Viewing across all of its channels fell 2pc to 23.6pc, partly due to the amount of news put out by the BBC.

Shares rose 5.8pc to 76p but are worth just half their value at the start of the year, making ITV worth slightly more than £3bn. 

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appSome analysts speculate that US billionaire John Malone's Liberty Global could seek to add the broadcaster to a combined Virgin Media and O2.

Mobile network O2's owner Telefonica confirmed on Monday that it is in talks with Liberty about a tie-up with Virgin, which would create a company with more customers than BT.