GB News reports losses ten times greater than revenue

GB News has reported a £31m loss in its first year on air, on revenue of £3.6m, but its directors remain “satisfied” with where it stands.

In its Companies House accounts for the year to 31 May 2022 GB News Limited reported advertising revenues of £2.97m, digital revenues of £564,000 and sponsorship revenue of £105,664.

However, cost of sales stood at £25.4m and operating expenses at £8.9m, producing a loss both before and after tax of £30.7m. The year before, when GB News reported no revenue, its losses were £3m.

The business said its directors “are satisfied with the results for the year and expect growth in the future performance of the company”.

Across the year GB News said its average monthly BARB reach in year was 2.32 million, representing an average linear audience share of 0.3%.

GB News suffered an advertiser boycott after its launch in June 2021, with brands including Sainsburys and Ikea pulling ads from the channel. 

The company has since paid substantial sums to attract politicians and on-screen talent including Nigel Farage, Arlene Foster and husband-wife MP pair Esther McVey and Philip Davies.

McVey was paid £58,650 by GB News in 2022 and Davies £46,203, according to PA Media. In December Press Gazette found GB News had spent the most of any publisher on payments to MPs, spending £82,040 between October 2021 and September 2022.

Since then the company has hired two further sitting Conservative parliamentarians, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Lee Anderson, to front shows on the channel.

The average number of employees at GB News including directors across the year to 31 May 2022 was 175, compared with 16 the previous year. The company spent £11m on wages and salaries in the most recent year, implying mean employee remuneration of just over £63,000.

GB News’ rival opinion-led broadcaster, TalkTV, has meanwhile hired former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries to present a Friday-night programme. GB News is so far winning the ratings war between the two channels, but both continue to lag well behind BBC News and Sky News for all-day ratings. GB News did, however, for the first time surpass Sky News for average prime time viewers in December.

Press Gazette reported last month that GB News’ chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos had told staff the broadcaster was entering a “third phase” of its launch that would see it “pivoting sharply towards financial sustainability and profit”.

But this week it received its first major rebuke from regulator Ofcom over comments about vaccines made by presenter Mark Steyn. Steyn departed the channel last month amid a dispute over contract terms, and another Ofcom investigation into his programme remains outstanding.

[Read more: GB News to purge ‘wasteful costs’ amid new target to be biggest in TV news by 2028]

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