The broadcaster has seen its steepest fall in advertising revenues in a decade amid what McCall said was an ongoing political and economic uncertainty that was leading to cautiousness among the big brands.
Pre-tax profits slipped 9.5 per cent to £500 million, including £154 million of exceptional costs due to acquisitions and restructuring.
“We are very focused on our strategic refresh. This will enable us to define a clear strategy and priorities that will highlight the opportunities and address the challenges that we face in an increasingly competitive media landscape,” said McCall. ITV wants to grow its Studios business, acknowledging the continued importance of broadcasters owning their own content.
One question for ITV is how it better monetises its ITV Hub on demand service, where despite a 39 per cent growth in viewing, even its most popular shows carry a fraction of the advertising seen on a linear transmission.
The broadcaster says it continues to explore and trial new ways, both free and pay, to distribute content to broadcasters and platform owners as well as directly to consumers.
“We’ve just stated doing Marcella as a box set, so you’ll start seeing more boxed sets and that really improves the user experience. We now need to work out what we should do that will actually place us in a better position competitively and what gets us the greatest returns. You can get very excited about doing lots of whizzy things that actually don’t make money.”
McCall described ITV Box Office as a trial and said there were lessons to be learnt from the Eubank-Groves fight where viewers reported signing up. Nevertheless, the fight still had 350,000 buys.