The broadcaster is expecting a big rebound and strong pent-up demand after the drama-fuelled reality show, where single people are supposed to find love, was cancelled last year due to COVID-19.
In summer 2019, the show averaged 4.3mln TV viewers, representing 19% of share, which increased to 5.6mln including online viewing. Commercial partnerships lifted total incremental revenue by GBP8mln year-on-year.
This year the number has soared to GBP12mln thanks to nine partnerships including Tinder, Boots, Spotify, JD Sports, hair straighteners maker Cloud Nine and drinks producer WKD.
It turned into a bidding war for ad space, with single 30-second slots priced at GBP100,000.
Love island is about to make 9-10pms great again
— EO???? (@_ezeokolorie) June 26, 2021
“Our revenues for June are going to be the biggest in our history, and I suspect July will be the same,” Kelly Williams, the managing director of commercial at ITV, told The Guardian last week.
“Not just the biggest in our history, but the biggest by quite some margin. Some of it is our Euro 2020 coverage, yes, but advertisers have definitely learned through the pandemic the value of TV.”
Analysts at Morgan Stanley noted the continued strength in advertising and that ITV “still looks good value” despite doubling from its lows last August.
i’m glad they go for people who are already “influencers” because regular people with normal jobs would not have the right support from ITV to go from a normal life to being in the public eye and popular
— court ???? (@courtputtock) June 21, 2021
However, there has been a years-long backlash against Love Island after the suicides of two former contestants and host Caroline Flack.
ITV has put new measures in place to protect the mental health of islanders, who face pressures during and after the show as well as heightened attention on social media, including abuse.
Shares in ITV dipped 1% to 125.85p on Monday afternoon.