ITV (LON:ITV) is in a face-off with the BBC over their joint streaming service BritBox, the Financial Times has reported. The news comes after the FTSE 100 group recently said that the streaming service was on track to launch in the second half of the year.
ITV’s share price has been little changed in London in today’s session, having inched 0.14 percent higher to 108.20p as of 09:47 BST. The group’s shares are marginally underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.04 percent lower at 7,274.67 points. The group’s shares have given up more than 35 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with a near six-percent fall in the Footsie.
ITV in face-off with the BBC
The FT reported yesterday that according to several people with knowledge of the matter, negotiations between ITV and the BBC had grown tense, with commercial network ITV committing more fully to their jointly-developed BritBox subscription service than the publicly funded BBC. While ITV has agreed to invest £65 million in the project to the end of 2020, the BBC appears to be prioritising its proprietary platform, seeking a rule change which would extend programme availability on its iPlayer service to a year after initial broadcast from the current level of 30 days.
One person close to the negotiations told the newspaper that ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall had “played hardball” with BBC director-general Tony Hall, telling him she would oppose the BBC’s request to media watchdog Ofcom “unless you back my project”. The FT also reported that one senior BBC executive, while acknowledging the tie-up was “definitely not a forced marriage”, had said that “whether it will be a successful collaboration can be debated”.
Analysts on FTSE 100 group
The 16 analysts offering 12-month targets for the ITV share price for the FT have a median target of 139.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 180.00p and a low estimate of 105.00p. As of May 24, the consensus forecast amongst 19 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip broadcaster advises investors to hold their position in the company.