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08/02/2001

GRANADA PROGRAMMES HELP DRIVE ITV SUCCESS

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GRANADA Chairman, Charles Allen, has credited ITV’s success to the backing provided by Granada’s extensive programme outlay.
At Granada's first AGM while operating as an independent media company, Granada Plc, Allen (pictured) revealed they have increased their earnings by nine per cent.
Allen said: "Granada’s programmes continued to drive ITV’s success last year and we created 8 out of the 10 top rated programmes. Successes included Granada’s evergreen ‘Coronation St’, which celebrated its 40th anniversary, ‘Emmerdale’, ‘Stars in Their Eyes’, ‘Heartbeat’, ‘Cold Feet’, ‘At Home with the Braithwaites’ and new dramas ‘Tough Love’ and ‘Fat Friends’.
“Our LWT production company has scored the outstanding programme success of the new year with Popstars, an event television programme in the reality genre, which is attracting over 11.5 million viewers.”
ITV have announced a new set of goals for 2001. The aim is to maintain a decisive viewer share gap over the BBC in peaktime; to be the biggest channel in digital homes; to continue to be the home of mass television programmes; to improve ITV’s performance in daytime and better to attract young and upmarket viewers.
The new architecture and programme strategy, which delivers consistent scheduling and event programming attracting both mass audiences and prime viewers, proved effective in the autumn therefore it will continue to be deployed in 2001 to drive the achievement of ITV’s new goals.
Granada floated 20 per cent of Granada Media on the London Stock Exchange in July 2000 and completed the de-merger of Compass on February 1, 2001. Leading the consolidation of ITV, Granada have now completed the acquisition of the television assets of United News and Media, and remain confident of achieving their cost savings target of £30 million per annum in 2002.
Allen added: “We accelerated our international development by taking a 10.2 per cent equity stake in Australia’s Channel 7 and by creating the largest television programme production company in the country, Redheart, by merging our Australian production interests with those of Channel 7.
“In the summer, we agreed to take a 45 per cent share in TV3, the Republic of Ireland’s only independent commercial television channel.
He said that ONdigital’s success, which achieved one million sales at the end of December 2000, demonstrated the rapid development of its payTV and interactive services in just two years.
In January, ONdigital added to its channel line-up with the introduction of Nickelodeon and the Paramount Comedy Channel and the recently launched E4. ONnet, ONdigital’s Internet through the television service, is now in 70,000 households. (CMcL)
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