According to Channel 4’s annual report, the broadcaster reported total revenue of £925m in 2012, down 1.7% year on year, after advertising and sponsorship revenue remained flat at £844m, compared with £845m in 2011.
The vast majority of ad and sponsorship revenue came from 4Broadcast, £833m, which was down 0.1% year on year. However, advertising and sponsorship from the 4Rights business increased to £11m, more than five times the amount generated in 2011.
Non-linear revenues grew 50% year on year to £36m, which Channel 4 attributed to high yields and innovation in advertising formats, supported by its data initiatives.
Channel 4’s sales house, which also sold advertising for UKTV and PBS in 2012, generated total sales in excess of £1bn for the second year in a row.
Given the flat revenue from advertising, the overall revenue decline could be attributed to the positive effect of DVD sales of 'The Inbetweeners' movie in 2011. "Other revenue" was £81m, down 15.6%.
Together with UKTV, C4 sales was the only TV sales house to grow share of commercial impacts for individuals, 16 to 34s and ABC1s in 2012, said Channel 4.
After contribution from financial income and the share of profits from joint ventures are taken into account Channel 4 made a pre-tax loss of £27m in 2012, down from a pre-tax profit (or surplus) of £45m in 2011.
David Abraham, the chief executive of Channel 4, told the Oxford Media Convention last year that the channel was planning for its first loss in more than a decade in 2012 after increasing its budget for UK-originated programming.