According to a recent report from ZenithOptimedia, advertising revenues on the UK’s main free-TV commercial channels, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five, will drop by 7%.
There is some good news, however, for these channels. Their offshoot digital channels are expected to buck the economic downturn with a 10-percent revenue hike, states the UK Television Forecasts to 2012 report. ZenithOptimedia forecasts a 6% rise in ad revenues in 2009 for these less costly digital channels which will then experience an average 8% growth per year until 2012.
The rapid proliferation of digital channels, however, has contributed to the fall in the price of TV advertising. Total revenues at ITV, Channel 4 and Five are expected to fall about 4% next year with ZenithOptimedia projecting no additional growth in TV ad expenditure until 2010.
By year-end, 91% of British households will be receiving digital TV on at least one set, rising to 97 percent by the end of next year. Freeview’s current dominance is expected to be overtaken by free satellite services from Sky and the BBC and ITV.