LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s ITV said its popular dating show Love Island would be cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and there would not be a new series until 2021, in a big setback for the broadcaster’s advertising revenues.
ITV said in a statement on Monday that the novel coronavirus outbreak meant it would not be possible to make the seventh season of Love Island in a safe way this year.
Love Island’s popularity has boosted ITV’s advertising revenues in recent years.
Last summer the reality show set in a villa in Mallorca, Spain, was watched by 6 million fans every night on TVs, tablets and smart phones, helping the company beat financial forecasts through extra sponsorship deals.
But travel restrictions and concerns over social distancing mean that viewers will this year be denied their dose of watching good-looking twenty-somethings enjoying the sun while looking for romance and fame.
“We are very sorry for fans of the show but making it safely is our prime concern and Love Island will be back stronger than ever in 2021,” ITV’s director of television Kevin Lygo said.
ITV is due to publish a trading update on Wednesday. Its shares were down 5% in midday trading.
Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton