The importance of dividends to investors can’t be understated. This example from the US market says it all:

Over the last 100 years the S&P 500 rose 273-fold, but adjusted for dividends it rose 18,520-fold.

Dividends are a massive component of long-term investing results. If you’re interested in income-producing, dividend-paying shares, you may be interested in the payout on offer from one of the UK’s leading media companies.

Last week ITV (LSE: ITV) produced their final results for 2015 and once again they were very good. That said, the shares have since sold off, despite management predicting further growth in 2016. Profits per share came in at a higher than expected 16.26p, translating into a price-to-earnings multiple of just over 14.

One of the features of ITV over the past 6 years of double-digit earnings growth has been the growth in the dividend and the ordinary dividend has grown by 62.5%, 34.6%, 34.3% and 27.7% in the past 4 years.

In addition to this, there have been special dividends, and ITV did not disappoint this year either, with a special payout of 10p per share.

Taken together with the final dividend, that means a total of 14.1 pence per share will be paid out on the 27 May 2016, with the shares going ex-dividend on 28 April. Against the current share price of 232p, that is a total yield from the two dividends of 6%.

My colleagues at DividendMax are forecasting increases in the ordinary dividend of 25% for 2016 and 20% for 2017 — so the dividend growth potential for ITV could be impressive from here, too.

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Mark Riding has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.