LONDON: ITV, the UK's largest commercial broadcaster, is to combine its online and television programming operations, with current director of television Peter Fincham (pictured) stepping into the new position of director of television, channels and online. 

Its broadcast arm will form a joint unit with web properties like video-on-demand service, social networking site Friends Reunited and Project Kangaroo, currently under development with fellow broadcasters Channel 4, Five and the BBC.

As previously reported, ITV's online revenue from January to September rose by 6% to £25 million, with the number of unique users rising from 4.8 million to 5.9 million.

The company's executive chairman, Michael Grade, argues that its web-streaming business is becoming a "channel in its own right".

Says he: "With content at the heart of our turnaround strategy, it now makes sense to integrate fully all our platforms to ensure the very best of our content is available to viewers wherever they wish to view it."

On completion of the merger, Jeff Henry, managing director of ITV Consumer, the company's gaming and interactive division, will leave his position.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff