LONDON: Advertising revenues on the UK's three terrestrial commercial TV channels (ITV1, Channel 4 and Five) are forecast to fall almost 20% in the first quarter of 2009, according to "unofficial figures from broadcasters" acquired by trade portal Brand Republic.

Total adspend levels for the broadcasters' main channels are predicted to decline by between 17% and 18% for the first three months of the year.

ITV1 is expected to post a drop in ad revenues of 22%, with Channel 4 down by just 14%, having renegotiated a number of two-year deals last year, and ended a stand-off with consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser.

Overall, Five (owned by RTL Group) is set to be worst hit, with totals down by 32%, following a period during which its relations with a number of media agencies broke down.

However, Brand Republic reports that OPera, which operates on behalf of Omnicom media agencies OMD and PHD, will start placing ads for some of its clients in March.

Starcom MediaVest, ZenithOptimedia and VivaKi, the trading wing of Publicis Groupe's media agencies, have also called a truce with Five.

Data sourced from Brand Republic; additional content by WARC staff