ITV has withdrawn its market guidance for the year and brought in a series of cost-cutting measures as the broadcaster looks to deal with the commercial impact of Coronavirus.
In a trading update, chief executive Carolyn McCall explained the third channel was reducing its programming budget by £100 million including savings made on production of the now postponed Euro 2020 tournament.
“We are operating in unprecedented and uncertain times, requiring us to take difficult decisions, plan carefully and act with speed,” said McCall. “Our absolute priority is to protect our people, while trying to ensure that we deliver the news and programmes our viewers value and love to watch, and to keep them informed.”
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on ITV Studios ability to film productions. Production has been suspended on soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale, though 9.5 million viewers tuned to Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. The popular entertainment show achieved the highest audience of any programme so far in 2020.
Daily entertainment shows Lorraine and Loose Women have been suspended while ITV concentrates on news and information as staff are forced to self-isolate.
On a positive note ITV Studios have seen increased demand for library sales.