October 18, 2020 |

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UK’s ITV restructures to focus on streaming, with Kevin Lygo taking new role

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Kevin Lygo

UK commercial broadcaster ITV is to restructure its business around streaming and has named the key execs to head a new unit to drive the strategy.

The ‘media and entertainment division’ includes two new arms, with a broadcast side focused on achieving mass simultaneous reach and an on-demand team exploring product development and growth opportunities.

ITV director of television Kevin Lygo will head up both operations, becoming MD of the media and entertainment division.

The commercial operator, which saw revenues plummet following the onset of Covid-19, said its main channel will continue to offer drama, entertainment, news and sport. Lygo will continue to run the broadcast business unit.

The on-demand business unit will focus on digital product development and growth for ITV, expanding its online offering by providing new content that appeals to audiences who already do most or all of their viewing on demand and will serve it to them in whatever way they want to access it.

This unit will include ITV Hub, Hub+ (the ad free version of the Hub) and BritBox – the digital video subscription service created by the BBC and ITV, in which the latter holds a 90% stake.

Rufus Radcliffe, currently ITV’s chief marketing officer, will head up the on demand side of the business, with a new marketing chief being recruited. A new COO for the media and entertainment division is also being sought, with appointed execs reporting into Lygo.

Carolyn McCall

ITV said the media and entertainment division will have full P&L responsibility for all its activities, costs and revenue, as does international division ITV Studios.

The broadcaster said both divisions will be “supported by leaner central support services”, with the restructure designed to “drive improvements in efficiency and reduce cost”. Restructuring has begun and will be fully complete by the end of March, ITV said.

Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO, said: “Our new Media and Entertainment Division will enable ITV to continue to deliver mass, live audiences while investing in the future to create the sort of content and viewing experience that younger, and other harder to reach viewers want.

“ITV will continue to broadcast shows which entertain millions of viewers. Most are watched live and that fact together with the scale of these audiences will continue to offer unrivalled opportunities for brands to reach consumers. Linear channels will be around and be profitable for many years but we also need an on demand business which will increasingly be the focus of our new investments in content and technology and which will be our growth engine attracting younger and more targeted audiences to ITV.”

The UK broadcaster also said it plans to reduce its London office space over the coming years, partly because of the move towards more flexible working “as well as taking cost out of the business”. Further details are yet to be revealed.

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