The head of drama at ITV has said it is becoming “harder and harder” to get audiences to watch the broadcaster’s main channel, where programmes have to “cut broad”.
Polly Hill said that its linear channels were “not going anywhere” but that audiences did not want to “look at the schedule in that way”, as she explained more about how the broadcaster saw its new streaming platform ITVX.
Speaking at the Wales Screen Summit, Ms Hill said: “We’re not deliberately trying to make something niche just because we’ve got (a) different platform, we’re trying to still stay big.
“The way (I see it) in drama is on ITV main channel, you have to cut broad, you have to try and get everybody to watch it in a way that’s proving harder and harder because that’s not how everyone watches television.
“But on ITVX, we can make shows that might not be for everyone, as long as we think the audience for the people who want to watch it is big enough.
“So you know, if that’s not your kind of show, that’s fine but we hope that there’s enough of an audience where that it is for them.
“We might never make a sci-fi show but if we think there’s a big audience for it, if we found the right show for it, then we could do it because we would think that there was a big enough audience to cut through.”
The broadcaster was trying to make ITVX, which launched at the end of last year, “feel more different” to the linear channels, Ms Hill said.
The platform has already seen a raft of commissions including Russell T Davies’s Nolly, starring Helena Bonham Carter, and drama Litvinenko, starring David Tennant.
She also said the broadcaster wanted to “work out” what ITVX was going to become and that in a year’s time it “might be clearer” what the streaming platform would be there to do.
Ms Hill added: “It’s going to evolve and shift and change, as we make more shows and as we learn, because it’s only about trying to make content for the audience and that audience is just watching stuff, as I said, watching different stuff in a different way, and we want to be part of it.”