TELLY Bosses at ITV have furloughed 800 of its staff as the Coronavirus slashes its advertising revenue and production of its biggest shows are on hold.
Yesterday the broadcaster cancelled the 2020 season of its biggest hit Love Island that was one of the companies biggest cash cows.
Staff furloughed are from its ITV Studios business, that makes shows such as Love Island, Coronation Street, and Emmerdale.
Revenue at ITV studios fell a whopping 11% in the first three months of the year to £342m ($423m).
ITV has already announced it is cutting its programming budget by £100m this year.
“ITV has taken swift and decisive action to manage and mitigate the impact of COVID-19, by focusing on our people and their safety, and by continuing to reduce costs and tightly manage our cashflow and liquidity,” chief executive Carolyn McCall said in a statement.
TELLY IN CRISIS
LIVE Telly – a stalwart of ITV output is facing crisis – and the channel is scrambling to fill schedules amid the pandemic that has halted the majority of ITV productions.
ITV bosses were said to have held ‘crisis talks’ over a number of shows affected by Coronavirus – including Saturday Night Takeaway, The Voice, Corrie and the future of BGT and now, Love Island.
ITV hasn’t seen such a crisis since the technicians strike of 1979 – in which the network was forced off the air for THREE MONTHS.
Years later ITV is facing it’s biggest crisis – with ratings winners such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale having to suspend filming with emergency plans to ‘ration’ remaining stock of episodes that are stockpiled until the early summer – but with Government plans to extend the lockdown – it looks like major shows will be taken off air or rationed.
“ITV has sadly taken the decision to suspend production of the soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale with effect from Monday 23 March.” the broadcaster said last week.
“We’ve been doing our best to carry on filming, whilst adhering to the Government’s latest health guidelines, to ensure we’ve episodes of both soaps airing on ITV until at least the early summer.”
“However, the health and well-being of the production teams, actors, crew and their families is of paramount importance to us and we now feel that the time has come to stop filming.
Daytime hits such as Loose Women and Lorraine have been placed on hiatus – with the daytime airing repeats and Lorraine Kelly joining Piers Morgan for an extended GMB from 9-10am.
“We’re focusing our efforts on providing to viewers the latest news on the rapidly changing situation which aims to offer some stability and continuity in all our lives whilst so many of us are at home right now,” said ITV.
“That’s why we have taken this tough decision to protect our GMB News programme in the morning and keep This Morning on air for as long as possible”.
Live shows such as Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night takeaway were forced to air clips of previous shows in this weekends edition and The Voice is airing ‘best bits’ after Live shows were cancelled over COVID-19.
The pre-recorded shows of the upcoming season of Britain’s Got Talent will air in April but due to social-distancing rules, the live shows will not air until it is safe to do so said a source familiar with the plans.
The moves show just how much COVID-19 is affecting the Entertainment in Britain and the world