The World Cup might prove to be a lucrative time for many involved: for the teams, the sponsors, the bars and the sport itself, but ITV might be left lamenting a missed opportunity that comes round but once every four years. Early May saw ITV hit a year high 'Index' score of 26.2 on 4th May, but since then a series of public relations nightmares has seen the score drop to 22.4 on 18th June, the lowest level since early April.
Less than three weeks before the world cup started, ITV accidentally cut the end of Nike's new epic style advert so that viewers in South England and Wales missed the famous swoosh and the tagline “Write the Future”, and England's first game against the USA saw another advertising blunder by the broadcaster. Viewers watching the game on ITV HD missed the live coverage of Steven Gerrard's goal as ITV accidentally went to a commercial for carmaker Hyundai. Presenter Adrian Chiles further infuriated fans when he apologized briefly for the “interruption” in the half time break. Following that incident, Robbie Earle was then sacked from his role as a pundit as tickets allocated to him were passed to a third-party. With ITV's BrandIndex scores in freefall, the channel will be hoping it can reverse its fortunes in the weeks of football ahead.