ITV boss Kevin Lygo has hinted at a HUGE shake up to Coronation Street and Emmerdale schedules.
It comes after the early release of both fan favourite soaps for on-demand viewers during Euro 2020, which at the time was billed a temporary measure to avoid scheduling nightmares.
However, speaking today at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Kevin revealed that it’s ‘possible’ there may be a permanent shift towards early streaming.
“On soaps – it’s possible [that the soaps could stream on the hub first], it’s a possible future,” he said.
“For us, part of the restructure and its effect on commissioning is that we wanted to bring together in one place all aspects of what used to be called broadcasting, so the commercial programming and delivery so that it is more in line with modern behaviour and tastes.
“ITV is incredibly successful at getting large numbers of people to come and watch the show at the same time,” he added.
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“During the Euros we saw over 20 million people watching the England game, I think 98% of all the programmes over 5 million people watching are on ITV. We are doubling down on that. It’s more live, more big events, more shows we believe will unite large swathes of the British public."
He continued: “The other thing is to really come alive with our on demand offering, this means slightly adapting the sort of programming that we will be making.
“We are moving into drama for ITV2. Its first drama in a decade. We are doing more factual on ITV2 aimed at younger viewers.”
Emmerdale and Coronation Street were available to stream early on the hub from June 14 for a four-week period while the delayed Euro 2020 tournament dominated the TV schedules.
Corrie boss Iain MacLeod reflected on the change at the time: “Given how exciting the stories are, it’s great that fans will have the chance to binge watch all the episodes on ITV Hub at the start of each week.
“As with football, sometimes when it’s an exciting face-off, you really want extra time.”
EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale have all seen a drop in ratings as viewers turn to streaming services like Netflix instead, the Mirror reported back in March 2021.
Over the last four years, Emmerdale’s audience figures have dropped by 22%, while Coronation Street fell by 19% and EastEnders by 37%.
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