ITV Gets Balearic Boost as ‘Love Island’ Shows Staying Power
(Bloomberg) -- ITV Plc, a U.K. broadcaster coping with a Brexit-induced advertising slowdown, rose on Tuesday as its hit show “Love Island” broke yet another record in its newest season opener.
The reality show, chronicling the budding romances between swimsuit-clad contestants on the Spanish island of Mallorca, attracted an audience of 3.3 million viewers on average, the company said in an emailed statement. This exceeded last year’s opening night audience of 2.9 million and continued the trend of increasing viewers each year. An additional 488,000 people streamed the show live on the company’s online platform ITV Hub.
ITV rose as much as 4.5%, one of the day’s bright spots in an underperforming European media sector. The company is coming out of a bad month that saw the stock fall 22%, taking it to a six-year low. The broadcaster last month forecast a decline in advertising sales for the first half of the year, and the shares have been on a downtrend since their 2015 peak, losing more than half of their market value.
Even so, shares saw a brief summer boost last year from “Love Island” and England’s good performance in the World Cup. It remains to be seen what impact this year’s show will have, but it will also be the first year that it goes global: CBS Corp. has bought rights to the dating series’ U.S. adaptation, scheduled to premiere on July 9 and set in Fiji.
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