Woolworths renews its £8m hit40uk deal with Capital

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Woolworths is to continue as the sponsor of Capital Radio's chart show hit40uk after renewing its £8 million deal.

The sponsorship, the largest in commercial radio, will run until March 2006 and was brokered by Capital Radio Group and Woolworths' agency, ZenithOptimedia.

Woolworths first committed to the sponsorship in February 2003.

In addition to its sponsorship of the weekly radio show, which pulls in 3.6 million listeners nationwide, Woolworths is also set to become the sponsor of the new hit40uk TV programme, which is due to launch on 4 September.

The 30-minute TV show will be broadcast on Channel 4 on Saturday mornings.

It replaces the Smash Hits chart.

Rob Corlett, the managing director of hit40uk, said: "It's great that, 18 months into our partnership, Woolworths is extending its commitment to the show. The potential we all saw in the relationship between the biggest chart- music retailer and the biggest chart show is now really developing."

Woolworths' decision to sponsor the show was questioned last year when it lost 300,000 listeners during one quarterly Rajar period. Doubt about it renewing the contract was also raised when Neil "Dr" Fox, the presenter of the show for ten years, quit in May.

However, since the presenters Simon Hirst and Katy Hill took over, it has maintained its lead over Radio 1's chart show by more than half-a-million listeners.

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