Bottom Line: Crozier’s acquisition spree pays off as viewers rush to tune in

Elizabeth Fournier

WHEN BSkyB lost the battle for the next set of Champions League rights to newcomer BT Sport, little was made of the fact that Sky’s partner in the last bid – ITV – had also lost out.

While its rivals were squabbling about football viewers, ITV was getting on with things; namely bedding in the string of acquisitions its Studio business has made over the past year, and making the most of the recovering UK advertising market.

It’s paid off – chief executive Adam Crozier’s spending spree means Studio revenues are up 11 per cent, with analysts expecting its output of shows to sell well in both the UK and abroad.

The recently relaunched I’m A Celebrity... pulled in an average of 12m viewers when it aired on Sunday – the second highest live overnight audience this year, and surely more than enough to convince the advertisers to pile in.

According to ZenithOptimedia, global ad expenditure – of which TV makes up the biggest, 40 per cent share – will rise 3.5 per cent and 5.1 per cent in 2014.

Crozier has put ITV in the perfect position to benefit from the recovery in the market.