ITV to Woo Viewers with £100m Hike in Programming Budget

31 January 2003

British television network ITV plans to spend nearly £100 million ($164m; €153m) more on content in 2003 than it did last year as it scrambles to win back viewers.

In its annual programming policy statement, the commercial broadcaster says it will pour £830m into its shows, including several new dramas and documentaries.

Last year was dismal for the network, its audience share slumping by 3.5% to 24.3% in the twelve months to September. It also suffered a barrage of bad publicity connected with the collapse of the ITV Digital pay-TV platform.

Among the new programmes hoping to lure viewers back to ITV will be an adaptation of D H Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, a series on British prime ministers and a documentary on the nation’s monarchs, while tried and tested ‘reality’ shows Pop Idol and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here will be wheeled out again with new formats. The network also revealed there is a “significant” budget to keep up with foreign affairs.

Joining ITV shortly will be Nigel Pickard, its new director of programmes. He replaces David Liddiment.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff