ITV rules out Channel 5 bid

February 26, 2014 11.15 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Adam CrozierITV boss Adam Crozier has ruled out a bid for Richard Desmond’s Channel 5. Crozier told investors the broadcaster was “not looking” at its terrestrial rival.

A joint bid between Discovery and BSkyB is seen as favourite for the fifth channel, where bids close on Thursday morning.

ITV itself has revealed a 20% rise in income at ITV Studios, while its online, pay and interactive business grew by 16% during 2013.

ITV is the current terrestrial broadcaster of the Champions League, a contract that it will lose to BT next year as part of a £897 million exclusive three-year deal. It has also lost The FA Cup to the BBC.

“For the next two years we have as much sport as we need or want and in many cases we might have an over indulgence,” said Crozier. “Some of the audiences haven’t been that fantastic over the last couple of years and we believe we can replicate that with other programmes and other sports”.

He pointed to ITV’s rights to the football and rugby World Cups.

With the launch of two new channels, ITV Encore and ITVBe, ITV says it expects double digit growth from online, pay and interactive.