Income recovers

STV advertising revenue ticks up after Q3 hit

England’s match against France delivered highest STV audience

STV saw a sharp dip in third quarter advertising revenue and expects a 2% fall for the full year 2022, though this still represents growth of c.8% compared to the pre Covid year of 2019.

Regional advertising is expected to perform broadly in line with national advertising for the year and video on demand advertising on STV Player to continue to deliver good growth.

For the nine months period, total advertising revenue (TAR) was down 3%, in line with expectations, and fell sharply by 17% in the third quarter as UK economic uncertainty led to caution in the advertising market.

As anticipated, Q4 has seen a stronger performance, boosted by I’m a Celebrity and the FIFA World Cup 2022, and is forecast to be down c.1% against tough comparators from 2021 (Q4 2021 TAR: +16%).

Within that October TAR was down 13%, November up 3% and December is expected to be up around 6%.

On screen, STV has had a strong finish to the year, with I’m a Celebrity the most watched TV series across all UK TV channels in 2022, and STV Player’s most streamed series ever with over 3m streams.

England’s World Cup quarter final defeat to France delivered STV the highest peak-time audience in Scotland across all channels this year of 1.6m viewers.

The tournament is already STV’s most streamed event ever with over 6m streams so far, over 50% ahead of last year’s Euros.  

STV Studios continues to make excellent progress, with more than 30 new commissions secured this year (FY 2021: 15) and previous full year 2022 guidance confirmed of £20-25m in revenues and at least £1m operating profit.

Additionally, STV confirms improved STV Studios guidance for 2023, with secured revenues now at £50-55m, significantly ahead of our target to quadruple revenues to £40m by 2023.

Chief executive Simon Pitts said: “STV has performed strongly in 2022 with advertising revenues expected to finish only 2% behind 2021’s record performance and 8% ahead of 2019.

“On screen we have enjoyed an excellent end to the year, with I’m a Celebrity proving to be the biggest TV series of 2022, ahead of Strictly Come Dancing, and the World Cup STV’s most streamed event ever with over 6m streams.

“While we remain mindful of the ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty, we are becoming a more resilient and diversified business that is well placed to take advantage of the growth in demand for streaming and global content.

“Our recently announced partnership with ITV significantly strengthens our STV Player content and advertising proposition, while STV Studios continues to make great progress towards its goal of becoming the UK’s leading nations and regions production company.

“With over 30 new shows commissioned this year we have already secured £50-55m in revenues for 2023, significantly ahead of our target, and our commissioning pipeline continues to show good momentum.”

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