TalkTV losses rise in second year of operation

Times Media and News Group Newspapers, which owns the Sun, also revealed their results on Tuesday.

August Graham
Tuesday 09 April 2024 14:28 BST
TalkTV and the Sun hosted leadership debates for the last Conservative Party battle (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
TalkTV and the Sun hosted leadership debates for the last Conservative Party battle (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)

Losses at the company behind TalkTV ballooned last year as the business launched more programming in its second year of operations.

In newly published accounts the News UK-owned channel said that pre-tax loss had hit £53.7 million in the year to July 2 2023. It was an increase from £34.1 million the year before.

“Losses for the year increased due to the increased programming following the launch of the channel only running for two months in the prior years,” TalkTV owner News UK Broadcasting Limited said.

The announcement came a month after the channel said that it was planning to abandon linear broadcasting and focus on online streaming instead. That itself came weeks after Piers Morgan left his flagship show on the channel.

The business made a turnover of £5.6 million in the year to early July 2023, up more than fivefold from the year before. Its staff costs grew from £4.9 million to £9.6 million in the same period.

Separately, sister company Times Media, which publishes the Times and Sunday Times, reported a 16.8% fall in pre-tax profit to £60.9 million.

Turnover increased from £373.4 million to £385.8 million in the same period as the company added 58,000 new digital subscribers to the 500,000 it already had.

And the Sun owner News Group Newspapers, which is also part of News UK, reported a drop in turnover which it blamed in part on the financial year being one week shorter and in part on “structural declines in the print market”.

It also said that turnover, which dropped from £320.5 million to £305.2 million, faced some problems from the “volatility of social platforms’ approach toward news content”.

This hit both print and digital advertising, the company said, as the Sun UK’s online audience fell by four million to 23.8 million.

News Group Newspapers’ pre-tax loss nearly halved, hitting £65.9 million in the year.

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