ITV upbeat over Euro 2008 ad prospects

LONDON - ITV claims the absence of any home nations in Euro 2008, which kicks off tomorrow (Saturday), has only had a slight impact on its advertising income.

The broadcaster said it has signed up more than 150 brands to advertise during Euro 2008, including a campaign with Bet365 showing live odds during every game.

But it is believed that the lack of any home nations and subsequent diminished audience interest will translate to £10m in lost ad revenues.

Euro 2008 starts with Switzerland playing Czech Republic broadcast on BBC1, and Portugal playing Turkey to air live on ITV1. The final on 29 June will air on the BBC and not on ITV.

ITV said new gambling and gaming advertisers joined telecoms, automotive, holiday, retail and male grooming brands advertising during the event.

Rupert Howell, managing director of brand and commercial operations, said the event was "selling better than we hoped".

Howell said that Euro 2008 and advertising around the Beijing Olympics would "see ITV through" a "rocky" market to the World Cup in 2010.

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