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STV rises as Euro 2020 delivers record viewers

England v Scotland at Euro 2020

Euro 2020 was a big hit with viewers (pic: SNS Group)

STV said advertising revenue rocketed as the Euro 2020 tournament helped it enjoy the highest viewing growth of any of the UK’s 500+ TV channels.

June’s viewing and commercial performance was significantly boosted by coverage of the Euros, with the England-Scotland game delivering 1.94 million viewers, STV’s highest peak-time audience since records began.

Total streams across the tournament on STV Player were 3.9m, up 70% on the World Cup 2018, with June streams overall up 163%.

As a result, STV’s total advertising revenue in June doubled, with VOD revenue up over 200% on 2020 levels, both representing strong growth on June 2019.

Simon Pitts

Simon Pitts: ‘excellent start’

The company also said advertising trends continue to improve, with total advertising revenue (TAR) growth of 32% in the six months to June over the same period last year.

This was a result of continued strong digital growth and an improving economic outlook.  Significantly, first half TAR was up 5% on the same period in 2019.

STV-controlled advertising continues to outperform the wider market, with video on demand advertising on the STV Player up 62% in H1. Regional advertising revenues were up 27% in H1 following only a 5% decline across full year 2020.

STV’s record viewing performance has continued into 2021, with total TV viewing up a further 5% in H1.

Viewing share has also grown 1.6 points to 20.8% in H1 2021, the highest growth of any of the UK’s 500+ TV channels and STV’s biggest all time viewing share since 2006, further cementing our position ahead of BBC1 as the most watched TV channel in Scotland.

Online viewing was up 66% in H1 and streams up 94%, with STV Player still the fastest growing broadcaster streaming service in the UK.


In terms of the outlook, STV expects July TAR to be up 35-45% year on year, again boosted by the Euros and the wider economy which continues to re-open.

STV also has a strong autumn programme line-up on TV and online, with over 50 hours of new network drama, a threefold increase on autumn 2020.

STV’s digital strategy continues to accelerate, with STV Player today announcing its biggest ever content partnership, with Banijay Rights, which will see an additional 1200 hours of drama and factual content added to the Player over the next year including high end UK, Nordic, French and Australian drama series.

STV Studios’ commissioning momentum continues with the recent announcement of a new 25-episode quiz show for BBC1, The Bridge of Lies, which was secured after a competitive tendering process. It starts filming in Glasgow later this year and will be hosted by Ross Kemp. 

Overall STV Studios remains on track to deliver its most successful year yet, with revenues of £20-25 million already secured for 2021.

Simon Pitts, chief executive, said: “STV has made an excellent start to 2021, with our record TV and digital audiences powering advertising revenue growth of 32% in the first half of the year, ahead of market expectations, and 5% ahead of pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

“Euro 2020 has lifted spirits, broken hearts and delivered a record viewing and commercial performance for STV.

“We have plenty more to look forward to in 2021, with STV Studios on track to deliver its most successful year yet, hundreds of hours of unmissable drama set to drop on STV Player following today’s new partnership with Banijay Rights, plus 11 new network dramas this autumn including Manhunt series 2 starring Martin Clunes.”

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