Dating series Love Island is among the programmes credited with helping boost ITV’s profits, and has been praised by the broadcaster’s chief executive as a TV “phenomena”.
The popular ITV2 show, along with coverage of the World Cup this summer, has been cited as an influence on the broadcaster’s increase in half-year profits.
Newly published data, based on the six months to June 30, shows the broadcaster’s statutory profit before tax grew to £265 million from £259 million last year.
In June – when Love Island’s fourth series started and the World Cup kicked off – advertising revenue was up 22%.
Overall advertising revenue for the year so far is up 2%, and there has been a 48% growth in online revenues.
The broadcaster’s collection of commercial channels, known as the ITV Family, also saw its share of viewing increase by 9% in the first half of the year.
ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said the growth was due to “outstanding contributions from Love Island and the World Cup”.
Ms McCall, who became ITV’s first female chief executive in January, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the football event was “a great thing but we can’t rely on it”, as it only happens every four years.
She added: “Love Island, on the other hand, is an annual series and it’s doing very well on a number of levels.
“We’ve sold it already to seven other countries, and we’re about to announce a big market where we’ve already closed a deal.
“Love Island is a phenomena (sic) which has got legs that will be commercially fantastic for ITV, for more than just the UK audience.”
The dating series has broken viewing records for ITV2 this year, with some episodes being watched by more than three million people, according to overnight ratings.
The broadcaster said Love Island has achieved the second-highest audience on a digital channel since records began.
The show has also helped ITV’s share of commercial impacts for people aged 16-34 grow by 19%, along with programmes including Family Guy, Celebrity Juice and Survival Of The Fittest.
Love Island ends on Monday in the series finale, which will see one couple win £50,000.