Packed living rooms, empty studios: Dispatches from the TV industry

Briefing: UKTV CEO Marcus Arthur.

by Adam Gale

Under ordinary circumstances it’s quite simple to figure out whether a TV channel is performing well. Advertising revenues correspond to your share of commercial impacts (SOCI), so when your market share goes up you’re doing well, and when it goes down you’ve got a problem.

So it was with mixed feelings that UKTV CEO Marcus Arthur greeted the latest SOCI numbers to land on his desk. The seven broadcast channels in the business collectively accounted for over 8 per cent of total advertising impressions between March 16 and April 27, itself a relative increase of 8 per cent on the figures for February-March.

“My share is up but the share is only relevant to the size of the cake, and our estimates are for the next three to four months that that number could be down 50 per cent. It will get slightly better to the extent that the next year will average a 35 per cent decline, but that’s still a monumental hit in terms of lost revenues,” explains Arthur.

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