Britain's ITV Set to Grow by Acquisition

04 November 2005

The director of ITV's consumer division, Jeff Henry, told delegates at a Barcelona multimedia conference on Wednesday that the company - Britain's largest commercial broadcaster - is poised to make a number of multimedia-related acquisitions and that they could "expect announcements imminently".

The acquisitions are intended to drag the TV giant out of the twentieth century and into the new millennial Klondyke of multimedia convergence. Takeover targets are expected to include online, cellphone and interactive companies.

Word from within ITV's corridors of power is that broadcaster's survival strategy - in the face of increasing fragmentation of the TV market and the PVR threat - is diversification. By 2012 the company aims to draw half its revenues from sources other than traditional TV advertising.

Among the moves already in train are the launch of ITVi 24/7, which touts pay-to-play games to digital satellite saddos, plus access to online sites such as Friends Reunited, ITV Mobile and ITV Local. Also on the cards for next year are ITV Play, an interactive audience participation channel, plus a TV broadband channel.

Henry's own appointment two months ago is a reflection of this late-adopted strategy, as is last week's hiring of Ann Cook, the former director of international client relations at Associated Press. She takes the newly created twin roles of controller of ITV Interactive and

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff