Tuesday 17 March 2020 3:02 pm

ITV shares drop despite £50m saving from Euro 2020 cancellation

ITV today said the cancellation of the Euro 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak will save the broadcaster as much as £50m.

Uefa this morning announced that its flagship national football competition will be pushed back by a year due to health concerns.

Read more: Euro 2020 postponed until 2021 following emergency Uefa meeting

ITV, which jointly holds the rights to the tournament alongside the BBC, said the direct impact would be a reduction to its schedule costs of between £40m and £50m, including the cost of replacement programming.

The broadcaster said there would be no loss of sponsorship revenue as the tournament was pre-sponsored.

However, the cancellation is likely to come as a blow to the TV firm, which relies on major sporting events to win audiences and drive up advertising revenue.

Shares in ITV were down more than 13.5 per cent in afternoon trading.

Earlier this month the broadcaster warned its full-year revenue would be hit by coronavirus as travel firms pulled their ads.

It has already been hurt by the postponement of some Six Nations rugby fixtures.

But chief executive Carolyn McCall last month insisted the firm had made contingency plans in case of cancellations.

Read more: Coronavirus: ITV shares fall as travel firms pull advertising

“ITV continues to closely monitor the implications of the coronavirus and will update the market further as appropriate,” the company said in a statement today.

ITV said its forecast for advertising revenue in March and April was unchanged.