ITV boss hints at major shake-up for Corrie and Emmerdale schedules

ITV boss hints at major shake-up for future Coronation Street and Emmerdale schedules following streaming success during Euro 2020

An ITV boss has hinted at a major shake-up for Coronation Street and Emmerdale schedules.

This summer, a week’s worth of soaps were uploaded to the ITV Hub early during the Euro 2020 competition, meaning fans of both sport and soaps could avoid huge schedule clashes. 

And now, ITV’s Director of Television Kevin Lygo has said that due to the success of the temporary measure, it could be a possibility that there could be a permanent shift to early streaming online. 

Future changes: An ITV boss has hinted at a major shake-up for Coronation Street and Emmerdale schedules

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, he said of the possible changes: ‘On soaps – it’s possible [that the soaps could stream on the hub first], it’s a possible future.

‘For us, part of the restructure and its effect on commissioning is that we wanted to bring together in one place all aspects of what used to be called broadcasting, so the commercial programming and delivery so that it is more in line with modern behaviour and tastes.

‘ITV is incredibly successful at getting large numbers of people to come and watch the show at the same time.’

Drama: This summer, a week’s worth of soaps were uploaded to the ITV Hub early during the Euro 2020 competition, meaning fans of both sport and soaps could avoid huge schedule clashes

He went on: ‘During the Euros we saw over 20 million people watching the England game, I think 98% of all the programmes over 5 million people watching are on ITV. We are doubling down on that. 

‘It’s more live, more big events, more shows we believe will unite large swathes of the British public.’

Speaking further about the future of programming, Kevin added: ‘The other thing is to really come alive with our on demand offering, this means slightly adapting the sort of programming that we will be making.

New way of doing things? ITV’s Director of Television Kevin Lygo has said that due to the success of the temporary measure, it could be a possibility that there could be a permanent shift to early streaming online

‘We are moving into drama for ITV2. Its first drama in a decade. We are doing more factual on ITV2 aimed at younger viewers.’

In June, soap fans were able to access their favourite soaps on the ITV Hub early for a four-week period while the Euro 2020 tournament monopolised TV schedules. 

At the time, Coronation Street producer and team manager Iain MacLeod said: ‘There are loads of key rivalries across the Cobbles this summer and I think it will be like following your favourite team – there will be times where they let you down, make mistakes and maybe score a few own goals. 

The new normal? Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, he said of the possible changes: ‘On soaps – it’s possible [that the soaps could stream on the hub first], it’s a possible future’

‘But you’ll back them till the end and woe betide anyone else who criticises them.

‘Given how exciting the stories are, it’s great that fans will have the chance to binge watch all the episodes on ITV Hub at the start of each week – as with football, sometimes when it’s an exciting face-off, you really want extra time.’ 

The news came as BBC soap EastEnders also released episodes early on the BBC iPlayer during the Euros. 

Change of plan:In June, soap fans were able to access their favourite soaps on the ITV Hub early for a four-week period while the Euro 2020 tournament monopolised TV schedules

Boxset: ‘Given how exciting the stories are, it’s great that fans will have the chance to binge watch all the episodes on ITV Hub at the start of each week – as with football, sometimes when it’s an exciting face-off, you really want extra time’

Elsewhere in soapland, EastEnders has drawn in its lowest ever rating since it first aired 1985, according to reports.

On July 31 the BBC soap attracted just 1.7 million viewers, minuscule in comparison to the show’s heyday, which saw 30 million tune in on Christmas Day 1986 when Den Watts told Angie he wanted a divorce.

According to The Sun, these figures are a ’cause for concern’, with ‘rival soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale pulling in much bigger audiences’.

The paper suggested that recent storylines are to blame, saying: ‘Recent storylines have focused on trendy issues — cosmetic surgery addiction, cannabis oil treatments and online trolling, among others.

Low ratings: EastEnders has drawn in its lowest ever rating since it first aired 1985, according to reports (pictured: Mick Carter and Phil Mitchell 2020)

‘The sheer volume of these bland storylines amounts to overkill.’

It also pointed to the fact that EastEnders is short of ‘icons’ such as Peggy Mitchell and Dot Branning, while ‘Corrie has kept many of its veteran stars, like Bill Roache (Ken Barlow) and Barbara Knox (Rita Tanner).’

A BBC spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Throughout the Euros and the Olympics, EastEnders have been dropping the entire weeks episodes on iPlayer every Monday giving the audience the choice to watch when and where they choose so it’s no surprise that the overnight audience has been impacted.’

The statement continued: ‘EastEnders has been streamed 57 million times since this began, making it one of iPlayer’s most popular shows.’ 

Heyday: On July 31 the BBC soap attracted just 1.7 million viewers, minuscule in comparison to the show’s heyday, which saw 30 million tune in on Christmas Day 1986

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