Norman: ITV will look to online, pay-TV to diversify

UK commercial broadcaster ITV faces a period of “very substantial change” that could see it overhaul its online activities and become more reliant on pay-TV to secure its long term future, new chairman Archie Norman has told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper in his first major interview since being appointed.

Norman cited the failure of ITV to make any money from the online popularity of X-Factor contestant Susan Boyle, whose performance, shown on YouTube, got 18 million hits around the world, as an example of ITV’s inability to get to grips with the online world. The broadcaster does not currently have a department responsible for the sale of clips.

Norman also told the paper it was “very likely” that ITV would turn to pay-TV to monetise some programming that did not attract a huge audience, in order to reduce its reliance on a volatile advertising market. Norman said that ITV had no plans to sell its production arm, ITV Studios, however.