ITV, the leading British commercial broadcaster, reported that revenues for 2023 were down by 2% and profits were down by over 60%. A 15% decline in traditional advertising due to an adverse advertising market was partly offset by a 19% growth in online revenue. Having sold its stake in BritBox International to the BBC, the BritBox service in the United Kingdom will be subsumed into ITVX.

Pre-tax profit for ITV was down to £193 million, compared to £501 million the previous year.

Total advertising revenue was down by 8% at £1.78 billion, with media and entertainment revenue down 7% at £2.09 billion. Of this, online revenue was up 19% at 490 million, of which £415 million was from advertising and £59 million was from subscriptions.

So online advertising is growing but is still less than a quarter of all advertising revenue. While in absolute terms online advertising revenue rose by £72 million, the decline in other advertising revenue was £225 million.

ITV says it is on track to deliver at least £750 million of online revenues by 2026, with monthly active online users of 20 million. The question is whether it can continue to afford such a decline in its traditional advertising business.


Monthly active online users were up 19% to 12.5 million and total online video hours were up 26% to 1.51 billion hours, up from 1.19 billion the previous year with the aim to increase that to 2 billion hours in 2026.

However, the number of subscribers to online services in the United Kingdom was down 7% to 1.3 million, with the migration of customers from BritBox to ITVX. The aim is to increase that to 2.5 million by the end of 2026.

From the sale of its 50% stake in BritBox International for £255 million, ITV will return the £235 benefit to shareholders through a share buyback. The BritBox standalone app and service on Amazon Prime Channels will close in 2024, to be fully subsumed within the ITVX brand.

Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of ITV, said: “In 2023 we saw the benefit of the actions we have taken to reposition ITV towards higher sustainable growth. Our Studios business recorded the highest ever revenues and profits and in its first year ITVX delivered strong growth in viewing and digital revenue with investment on plan. This growth in production and streaming substantially offset the challenging linear TV advertising market conditions.”