Analyst says Clarkson motoring show would boost ITV

29th March 2015

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A banking analyst who already rates ITV a buy has talked up the possibility of a Jeremy Clarkson hosted motoring show could  potential.

Such a vehicle, where it to replicate the BBC’s show success, could bring £50m in annual revenue to the broadcaster. In recent years, the ITV turnaround story has been at least partly built on programme-making success and global sales though one global hit, Downton Abbey, is about to film its last series.

Investment bank Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker has reiterated his ‘buy’ recommendation for ITV, which is Liberum’s top pick in the media sector. His target price is 310p on the shares. The share closed at 251.40 on Friday.

Mr Whittaker said that while it was uncertain whether Clarkson could use the Top Gear brand at ITV as the BBC has bought out Clarkson’s stake in his production company, a Top Gear-style show could have three main benefits.

He said these were “Audience share with such a popular programme; advertising – given the Top Gear demographic, it is likely to be relatively attractive to advertisers; and worldwide sales – press reports suggested Top Gear earns £50 million per annum for the BBC globally; while it is unclear what would happen with the Top Gear brand, a Clarkson-fronted motor show is likely to replicate this success.”

There is also speculation that Clarkson could be joined in any new project by his two co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May.

Although nothing has been confirmed about James May’s future, the Daily Mail reports he has been tweeting at #stillunemployed.

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