ITV shake up. Britain’s largest commercial broadcaster, ITV, has slashed its dividend and financial targets after plunging into a $3 billion loss in the first six months of this year and announcing their ad revenues are likely to plunge by 20% from September. The news sent a tremor through European media stocks and the shares of those companies that feed off the industry.

ITV said the first half loss was due to a $3.3 billion impairment charge on mergers and acquisitions. The September plunge comes partly because of the comparison with September last year when the Rugby World Cup was on, but it disclosed that TV ad revenues at its main ITV1 terrestrial channel in Britain fell 5.1% in the six months to June (Global revenues and online revenues rose 3%-8% to offset the weaker TV takings). — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV winners and losers. An interesting TV night last night with one success, one failure, and one continuing slide into TV limboland. Nine floated an ep of Hole In The Wall 8pm: Hole is the Japanese-based game show that spawned its Tuesday night US offering, Wipeout. (Nine switched This Is Your Life after the guides were printed and dropped in Two And A Half Men at 7.30pm and Hole at 8pm). It rated very well, averaging over 1.5 million viewers and helped Nine to win the night. Producers Fremantle will be happy, as will Nine and David Gyngell who grabbed the idea at the MIP media conference earlier in the year. It joins Wipeout and Seven’s Gladiators which was an earlier version of this exaggerated game show.

Not so successful was Seven’s Jennifer Hawkins vehicle, Make Me A Supermodel. It just didn’t click with female viewers (the target for the program) who preferred the sexism of Two And A Half Men on Nine and Hole In The Wall. Supermodel averaged 1.065 million in its first outing. It beat So You Think You Can Dance (the US version) at 7.30pm on Ten by 20,000 viewers. Seven will keep the Model program in its schedule if it can achieve those sorts of numbers against a program that is aimed at the same demo: young women and a few young male viewers.

The Hollowmen continued to shed viewers last night, averaging 816,000 at 9.30pm. The ABC signed up for a second series before the first ep had aired. It needs to toughen up and stop slopping around. The Hollowmen needs to tell us something about what we didn’t know or suspect politician advisers were capable of, just as Frontline did. As for McLeod’s Daughters on Nine at 8.30pm: 931,000. It was again flattened by Spicks and Specks at 8.30pm on the ABC for half an hour. — Glenn Dyer

ACA v Today Tonight. For all Nine’s shouting of its improved ratings, its News and Current Affairs remains on the nose, even with its affiliates. Bruce Gordon’s WIN Corporation last night pre-empted A Current Affair in Adelaide to run a program of its own called SA Policefile, seeing ACA shown only in four of the five metro markets last night. The Police File special averaged 130,000 viewers. ACA averaged 1.034 million viewers.

Today Tonight averaged 1.389 million for Seven at 6.30pm, including 150,000 in Adelaide and beat the WIN special. On Tuesday night ACA had its best night for months, getting to within 2,000 of Today Tonight and beating it in Melbourne, Brisbane and, Adelaide. Sounds like Nine and WIN shot both their feet last night at 6.30pm in Adelaide. — Glenn Dyer

Not exactly the correct message to be sending to Tamsyn Lewis. —  as seen on p9, Herald Sun, today

Why radio is your Olympic friend. A Crikey reader alerted us to the olympics promo the ABC Radio “should have used — not that anyone in Sydney will see or hear any live olympics coverage on ABC Radio. Thanks 2GB and IOC.” For all the pantless fun, click head to YouTube.

Peter Fray

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