ITV2’s image needs ‘sprucing up’ Angela Jain, director of digital channels for ITV has admitted.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International TV Festival today, Jain discussed the brand position of digital channel ITV2, explaining that she would like to position it between e4 and BBC3.
She said; “At one end of the spectrum you have e4 - they can be a bit snarky and a bit arty and edgy, and then at the other end you have BBC3 and because of their public service broadcasting commitment they do serious factual programming brilliantly. I admit though, our marketing image and positioning does need sprucing up."
Later she added that ‘ITV4 is not a sports channel’, despite the amount of sports shown on the digital channel, including the Tour De France, British Touring Cars Championship and Europa League football.
“We do find peaks and troughs and the peaks come from sport. Cycling is now synonymous with itv4 and we have the French open, I want the channel to have the consistency of sport across the years but only show a few pedigree ones. We haven't cracked it away from sports.”
Jain, who joined ITV from e4 in March 2011 also admitted that choosing presenter Richard Bacon to be the face of the channel she admitted; “it didn’t work.”
She continued; “In this business you have to make tough decisions and you can't keep commissioning what isn't working."
Discussing her early days of joining ITV, Jain explained; "in moving to itv I did inherent a lot of shows but there is just as much of a challenge in keeping a series alive as in commissioning it."
She also explained why adverts are not run after 11pm by the channel; "We don't hold onto audiences after the big hits [Celelebrity Juice, The Only Way is Essex] with new programmes for the reason that ads traditionally don't get placed after 11pm. So we have this massive audience share at 10:45pm but it's hard to monetise it. We utilise repeats at that time. For example Bonkers World Records, which was commissioned originally for 8pm, has done massively well as a repeat in that time slot."
As to the shows that have not been a success, Jain was pragmatic; "Unfortunately there are always flops, you never know what's going to work. You have to take risks, I've commissioned a show 'Top Dog Model' and it's a risk. But you have to play high to score high and sometimes you fail completely."
Jain also said that "there are no plans to commission original content for itv3,” at the current time. “It's doing so well showing good old itv drama and the pipeline of itv drama is so rich and we have all that to come and air on the channel . There may be the option to do one-offs but never a whole series,” she explained.