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Read this: My plan for ITV

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My plan for ITV…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 this week is one of the most people in UK television Kevin lygo is ITV's managing director of media and entertainment that means he is responsible for all of ITV's programs across their channels and on their new streaming platform ITV X you began his Media career working on the Two Ronnies as a trainee at the BBC he's also been a dealer and Islamic art in Paris for a while and this year he released a book called The Emperor's of Byzantium welcome to the media, so busy man yes, well.

I got to start in a minute to talk about ITV X the future of the TV the culture secretary on the future of the BBC love Island maybe even if you make a programme about Byzantium Emperor's try TV all of that could ask you about Matt Hancock

Last few hours he says he's going to be stepping down as an MP when the next election happens, of course.

It's just a few days after he was on one of your shows I'm a Celebrity did you have any inkling that I know but I I suspected but I don't know and and I thank you very much for coming.

We involved in the decision for him to take part.

Yes and with their pros and cons of something my goodness.

We need to make this happen.

If we can they were it was quite late in the day.

So weird weird most people will cost and ready to go and all the rest of it and but when he was when he was put forward and I can't remember actually I think that's a fascinating idea does it does really want to go in and so we decided after some soul-searching.

You'll be a great addition to this program and when someone like any other contestants say I might be interested in taking part.

Do they sometimes bring conditions and say what I will take part, but I don't do this challenge.

We don't want to be involved in the situation know you have to have to go in Full Metal Jacket so now.

We can't we can't allow people not to do things not talk about this or whatever you think you might be interested in a show it sounds like he's looking for a career beyond politics.

He might he might think the BBC's the place now igb in its if I describe it simply splits into two you're a broadcast to be your also a producer.

You make programs to the sold all around the world.

I'm interested to know how your role of those two purposes for ITV when when I joined ITV for about 5-years or more around the studios division at the production side of the business and we all.

Identify the needed bowstring that needed to grow that owning your own programs was a good thing to do so we have spent many years investing in it Unit 2 now.

It's the biggest producer in Europe sort of them.

So it's it's a very important side and I don't manage that but obviously now commissioning over half of the we have on ITV and all the channels are made by are Studios and there's no or something.

I think there's an understanding in the business that the perfect the perfect show is one that is is made by Studios that you own you can control that if it has earning potential outside of the UK is great that we keep it because my been on ITV you've got a good chance of it becoming successful, so given that multiple.

What is an average day in an average week for you? Look like as your time difference between these responsibilities.

It's a bit of a doctor surgery.

If so, I just have meeting after meeting after meeting where people around the pictures shows of internal meetings obviously with department and remember it's from used to go to drama to have time to watch TV given that you're having lots of meetings about it.

Yes, I I've always managed to watch a great deal of television, so I do I do watch in the evening lockout time of the day to say another this is this is TV time.

I'm not having a meeting mainly in the evening my poor long-suffering wife will I have a way of watching which can be a Fast and but you got to keep abreast of you.

Obviously have to be on top of everything that you're making is going on your own stations but

The best of other things in there is what you watch for Pure enjoyment that might be on the screen or something like that.

So yeah, I was a lot of a lot of television what you mentioned streaming ITV has a two-pronged strategy that counts within the last 12-months one is the double the amount of scripted television ITV Studios Meg's dramas primarily and the second part of that is to launch a new streaming platform ITV X and that is being released into the Wild and the last couple of weeks.

Just Help Me Understand the decision to to make ITV ex was it partly driven by the fact that ITV hub potation was perhaps not quite what ITV my love.

Hope for other day.

I know it.

Was you know the way people watch service has changed and is changing the time and all of us if you think how you watch television of evening when you get home.

You know that the streamers have influenced beyond any.

What's the way we now like to watch on television programmes that the type of program a note of shifted that much but the idea that I want to watch what I want when I want I want is is the big shift and extremely has has has done this but that was true 12 months ago when you already had ITV hub for offering me and everyone else ITV X what are running from x that I wasn't getting from The Hub was designed just to be a catch-up service so it in the days when it's designed years ago.

It was about you put your break out on your channels and then 30 days you can catch up if you missed it was the sort of thinking behind it now the iPlayer has changed all this and what ITV X is is away is more than a bit more as a destination that you would go to to watch on ITV programme and when you're there.

It's so user-friendly looks.

That you'll find a plethora of other programs things you missed things you didn't even know where they're so it's a it's a it's a whole world where you can spend time watching shows do you have any concerns that it's another piece of technology by which we can all watch tv.

In there are of course lots of streaming services catch-up services.

We can watch the social media through YouTube to worry that the television industry more broadly confusing bamboozling the consumer with with lots of different ways of getting to shows you know if you're walking and you got for remote controls in your house and you don't know but I think it in the end.

What people do is they have their favourite stay know what they want to watch and they know the destination so he if you've got Netflix Una Healy's Netflix now and I think was ITV exit it's going to be hopefully you're very seamless change if you've got ITV hub on everybody does it should sort of change over.

Thursday we launched ex and the new world opens up for you.

So it should be available on my device in every way possible and and very easy to use optimistic about it.

I wonder why you think the ITV share price fell nearly 20% when these plans were announced and it's not recovered to the previous level why do you think investors a nervous about that? I think because investors can be funny about investment and what ITV access for ITV is a is a serious investment you know we're spending 160 million pounds on new program and it's absolutely additional.

It's on top of the day job that will do all the time anyway all with the main channels, so it's I think it was just that and will you know it was it was a perfect storm of the war in Ukraine all sorts of things happening at same time so I think I think people are coming round now to understanding that it is a good idea.

Then of course going to wait to see you.

But I have no doubts that is the right decision to move into this area.

I'm interested.

You don't have doubts because it looks like streaming in particular is Stakes game at the moment Disney streaming services, which include Hulu ESPN Plus on Tuesday reported an operating loss of nearly 1 1/2 billion dollars.

We know there's extreme pressure budgets of all the big streaming competitors, so will it be reasonable to have some doubt that this could work out? I think it's it's all that sounds quite big in away.

You know we've been in this game a long time.

This is a totally free service remember.

That is not most people understand of it quite streaming with you.

Got to pay a monthly fee.

You don't have to do that with pads.

We are not funny business with a leader in the market.

We know what we're doing without funding and so we haven't done this sort of in the dark and bring it on people in conversations with advert.

The rest of it everybody is welcome in this new entrants to the market and Help Me Understand what ITV becomes in the form of ITV excetra on listening now will have very close associations ITV and how it fits into the Fabric of British culture and British society if you become even successful streaming platform, but another streaming platform with a variety of programs, what what is ITV what do you stand for for the same things remember with ITV X you know everything that is currently available on ITV and it's channels is within x as well watch live the normal channels that you do if you like the Coronation Street you can watch it right if your ex so so I think it's what we can do is offer a greater range than we have done it.

There's a normal pressure on a commercial broadcaster to get for 5 million viewers every night at 9 sort of thing and certain genres certain types of programming.

The real stretch 4 comedy is example sitcoms in the last period of time decade almost with some notable exceptions struggle to get big audiences and it hasn't been making much comedy but with ex you can let things grow let think developed.

We're commercially interested in may be small audiences that are are are people who don't watch a lot of ITV that would be looking for comedy and now we can make somebody's and hopefully attract an audience that perhaps wouldn't first off go to itv on my TV on ITV X saying it's going to tackle subject that would be more nervous about on the main channel Help Me Understand what wouldn't you put on ITV1 that you might put on ITV X I think certain genres if you like like in drama, you might.

Darker stories, you might have I don't know horror you might have sci-fi ITV doesn't do these ITV is a mainstream broadcaster based on advertising revenue you need volume is what we call Massimo Avengers reach you want to reach as many people as you possibly can all the time and that limits to what you can do so wonderful programs, but then 5 and 10.

So what are the night of ex can do is contribute to a widening of our audience perhaps like things a bit more you know you're so forth and as I'm listening to you.

I'm wondering all of these goals that you have for ITV they supported by being a public service broadcaster or would he knows golsby simplify TV is a company if you were freed from some of the constraints and obligations that come with being a public service broadcaster ethos.

Mike is is in the DNA of ITV it's always been there we do an enormous amount of news as that's the sort of most obvious public service that we do and regional news and see this year.

We extended the early evening news by half an hour so we doing an hour and a half of news every single night Plus 1/2 hour and then 10-minutes original at 10 and so this is not hindering us in anyway.

This is I think audiences respond to this it gives you a site unique selling private.

You know the BBC and ITV the only people do this sort of thing and are trusted and little bit nugget.

It's terribly important that we could do it.

So we will see you extended ITV News 630 the 7:30 coronation remove the hour long episodes Monday Wednesday and Friday Emmerdale moved into the 7:30 slots that straight up against EastEnders big decision for you and for ITV2 take how do you take them?

Are you doing that on darts or are you doing it after months and months of data analysis so that there was a lot of programming in between the soaps that was good some of the goods are not as good but it tended to disappear after a while and the budgets are getting squeezed and and I just thought I think it would be cleaner if the Newsround longer witch and the big decision in some can't people take that much news and can we move Emmerdale after a successful place of 7 in people's lives for so long to 7:30 and research and data tells you that 80% of people watch Emmerdale watch Coronation Street so that audience for example is used to watch in the soop at 7:30 so that there was no shift in the audience figures and similar.

Reading to an hour.

We had been doing for 2 years on a Friday and what you found was now that when they traditionally were the two episode split something in the middle that second episode of always lose some views from the first because there was a temptation you go find something else something else you want to watch where is you put it for an hour and I'll stick to the hour and and again I worked effectively for us so that I'm heading to say was a good.

What's it like in the ITV office if you take a decision like that the first week.

You're playing it out or are you just getting in the morning waiting for the evening before us figures? Is it is it nerve racking you feel like your jobs on the line.

I think it's dinner howling.

I wouldn't be talking to you now.

So yes time is it is is risky and big but you know with I've been a long time.

I'm surrounded by very clever talented people that you can you can estimate how these things are and we can serve to justly.

Would have people particularly interesting to see if see if it is working or not any imagine you doing this a long time.

I was saying in the introduction that you started off as a trainee at the BBC with the Two Ronnies and you've done awful.

Lot between now and and then are the things that you learnt in your early days and television relevant now or is the industry in the way the viewers and the Producers behave change so some extent.

It's just a different thing entirely.

It's I think what you learnt and god bless to be received giving me a training ship.

Just didn't save a few years, but I think so the techniques of storytelling of making programs are much the same you know they move on a bit but that that's a constant.

I would say I think the I still love the range of output that a mainstream broadcast to can do from.

You know haidilao voucher from silly game shows too serious dramas or whatever and that's that hasn't changed so the Landscape real changing is there so much choice now.

You know 90s television there was a fortified 24 channel and you had a so people were more forgiving than less critical perhaps now and if you just think of the way you watch yourself everything you give something couple of minutes if you don't like it, you think there's something else.

I remember now.

There are everything ever made is available tonight as well as you know loads of new shows dropped every week mainly from Americans but also from the BBC and ITV so the choice is extraordinary should and is sharpening the Whit of producers and writers and creators to meet that challenge and help me understand what it is that makes one program.

Through all of that competition that perhaps focus on Love Island one of your biggest hits.

Why do you think that format has generated so much interest in a way that what's the weather for Matt Stone yeah? I wish I really need the internet about love Island is that I'm so glad everybody in television along with it because the the accepted Wisdom was young people that watched television anymore.

They don't look at a schedule 1100 when consumers things and so we belong love I watch is on every single night at 9 for 6/8 weeks on ITV2 it's not even on the main channel and the young audience immediately and is absolutely directed.

What should every night and it fucked all the trains and show that actually if you if you bring the right thing at the right time in the right.

Young people will come but it's just harder than it ever used to be but what is the right thing you were saying that the fundamentals of making programs haven't changed since you started on the on the Two Ronnies but surely love Island format that perhaps 20 years ago wouldn't have work.

This is a TV format that is synced with a generation that lives digital lives as if it's simply their normal lives.

There is no distinction between digital life and the rest of their lives.

That's not an isolation.

Is it has connected to love Island success.

Yes, I think love Island you know probably couldn't have happened without Big Brother happening and Big Brother was a show that revolutionised television the weights watch the what possible the way you tell stories the way you deal with real people so I think it's big was the in normal shift that really had an impact on everybody who works in television and those that watch it.

So love Island is a another version of that and more.

Seriously, it's a dating show that happens to be stripped in this way and when you look at you what you were at Channel 4 when Big Brother was commissioned, so you know that program intimately you're also there when he was commissioned in Men Behaving Badly and and others do you think there are some types of programs some formats that you commissioned years ago that now would be harder to to commission.

Is it is it harder to commission a giro difficult programming it shouldn't be because there are more outlets and for everything but it is always and I think you want the confidence as a broadcaster or is a channel whatever to think we could try these things and it fails it doesn't matter because we can go next week.

So I don't I don't think it's less risky ITV more risky than it was as people's tastes change a b and a

So yeah, I think we can we can relax in thinking we shows of the past that's still happened.

Yeah, I can't think of any g700s now.

I'm sure you'll you'll probably still do it so and we talked a lot about formats.

I'd like to talk about some of the people within the formats the the talent is there referred to in the industry.

We've mentioned.

I'm a Celebrity because of Matt Hancock being in the news today Ant and Dec Lily front that they for Saturday Night Takeaway which has been going for a long while then I have Ant and Dec's limitless win when you have such successful presenters on your books help us understand the calculations you make how much to use them because most things they touches successes, but presumably there's a law of diminishing returns at some point.

I think I think if you like talent management is is terribly important?

Particularly the Entertainment Business and you'll find that it's no piece of luck that longevity of of people lie and Dec they are very pictures of shows themselves are quite cautious, they they don't quit hits some some presenter thing after a couple of series.

I'm bored.

I want to do something else and maybe never reached out to but I think I think there's such professional to such a Delight to work with that the wee wee using very sparingly would never for some to do anything if they have an idea and they had a few ideas that we've discussed at length and in the end, thought not let's not do it.

That's works both ways.

What's the relationship between i t in them would this be something that you might WhatsApp them on the way out of the BBC about something.

Are you too and throwing with them all the time or is it all formerly go through producers and agents and everywhere? I think I think you know one of the

Where can I buy a very you're very close to them said I would actually text them during.

I'm a Celebrity for you and get a bit more of this and they will respond in the customers so we all think maybe this and then we work it through sometimes you pilot to me.

Don't carry on divisions of you sitting on the sofa with your wife watching TV of an evening just messaging different ITV presenters on there.

Is there anyone else that you think you're messaging Robert Peston what he's doing it.

I have I have texted Robert but yeah, I know there's a close relationship.

It is also known as a team that the producers that everybody's kind of united in.

Getting the best out of whatever the show is at the time and really talked about ITV a lot I want to ask you quickly about the place where you started your Media career the BBC in the last few days off has some audiences of persistently underserved by the BBC and is particularly the case for those in Lower socioeconomic groups were less likely than other audience groups to use BBC services now.

You'll be aware the ITV does a very good job been popular among those people those groups described by Ofcom what advice would you offer the BBC to everyone better as Ofcom is suggesting it should they could give us some of the licence fee and then we could you like she's got it's very pleased everybody all the time, but there's a throwaway remark but actually it seems to me that because I'm sure you know the Cult

Show this week I said that the licence fee is not a long-term sustainable model so is ITV interested in a different type of licence fee which is not just giving honestly that that's a joke about what is without doubt is that Lucy's incredible born vital to the broadcasting ecology had a strong BBC is good for the country and good for a healthy competition between us is a good thing and all the BBC to thrive just as I said you wanted to try but do you think it can and should thrive with its funding model regions of people in this building think about that at this very moment and I'm sure they'll come up with a great idea.


Just before we finish Kevin lygo

You talk to a lot about how ITV is evolving.

It's business of holding its products.

You've got a TVX landing and I just wondered if you're nervous about the World Cup ITV hub famously struggle a little during one.

Game in the euros winning number in the semis a little while back, it's going to get a huge amount of attention and pressure in it ITV X with the World Cup games.

Are you ready? Yes, we're ready and you know we have the England Senegal game when millions of people watching through ITV X and hub and yet.

We're confident it should be alright.

It will be massive traffic.

I mean nobody except the BBC BBC One and get this sorted volume.

You know whether it's tiktok whether it's Netflix whatever is nobody deals with 10 million people at the same moment all clicking in but we so far everything is worked very well, so let's just hope that continues and lots of people been paying attention to Roy Keane as part of their coverage suggesting perhaps.

He needs to break out from just being a football start.

Brilliant, I mean who can you know your mesmerise, but what every says and and he is such respect from other pundits another football footballers and everything so I think it's great want to do much of the Arsenal I have asked him to do more know and finally in the last 30 seconds.

We have your see what a lot of TV do you watch a video do you feel better YouTube tiktok watch programmes? I find a more satisfying than bits and pieces well.

Thank you very much for joining us for the whole edition of this pro be very much appreciate your time and thank you very much.

That's Kevin lygo ITV managing director of media and entertainment and those of you who use ITV Hub not all of you, but have you will notice that it is already turning on your TVs and on your phone's into ITV X a quick reminder that you can hear this edition and all the additions of the media show via BBC

For me as for the moment, thanks for listening.

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