ITV chairman looks at pay model

ITV’s new chairman, Archie Norman, is evaluating moving some of the free-to-air broadcaster’s services to pay-TV, according to weekend press reports in the UK. One option would be to switch the ITV family of digital channels, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4, to pay, the reports said.

The move to take entire channels to pay would be at odds with the strategy being pursued by current ITV management. Carolyn Fairbairn, group director of development and strategy at ITV said last week that while it was looking at charging for preview and on-demand content, its core channels business will remain free for at least the next five years as the company can generate greater revenues from advertising and related services than subscriptions.

Separately, ITV will benefit from better-than-expected December advertising revenues. The broadcaster had forecast a 4% year-on-year increase in ad sales for the month, but now anticipates a 12% increase after a spate of Christmas-related spending by advertisers.