Media: Double Standards - Drama's great, but you can't beat a bit of sport

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 12 November 2004 12:00AM

The sales heads of the UK's leading commercial terrestrial TV channels talk about PVRs, schedules and why TV trading isn't only about two big men having a row.

GRAHAM DUFF - chief executive, ITV Sales

What are the highlights of Even during our admittedly sketchy

your autumn schedule? summer we remained confident of the

autumn schedule. That confidence has

been reflected in a stream of

successes ranging from series such as

Doc Martin and Blue Murder, through

to one-off dramas such as Frances

Tuesday and Belonging. Our regular

series, Coronation Street and

Emmerdale, have been on good form and

The Bill has performed excellently.

Saturday night's line-up of The X-

Factor, Ant and Dec's Takeaway and

Parkinson has been outstanding.

All in all, we're pretty pleased to

date and there's I'm a

Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! to

come.

What share of television ad More than many experts seem to

revenue do you expect to take think.

for 2005?

How effective is your ITV2 is the success in multichannel.

multichannel strategy proving? Already the eighth-largest channel in

the UK (and sixth in Freeview) we

have committed to dramatically

increase the programme budget and

have Sky One in our sights. On 1

November we launched ITV3. It will

not be a golden oldies channel. ITV3

is firmly aimed at a mainstream

audience broadcasting quality drama

and movies. Across all three

channels, cross-promotion and

complementary programming will create

the strongest possible proposition

for viewers and advertisers.

How well do you think David Regrettably, I am legally bound to

Connolly, the Ofcom reply "no comment".

adjudicator, is doing his job?

What are your favourite The Sopranos, Coronation Street and,

television shows? according to my partner, Kelly, "too

much ******* sport".

Why should advertisers use Television is the most vibrant,

your channel? exciting and effective medium. I

believe that ITV1, 2 and 3 offer

terrific audiences and the clarity of

our on-air look showcases our

customers' advertisements to those

audiences.

Have you got, or do you want, No, I'm in a cable home and a

a personal video recorder? personal video recorder is probably

(another) bridge too far for them at

present. In truth, I'm not sure I'd

use a PVR very much anyway.

Is TV trading still The annual agency deals can be

essentially two big men adversarial. I haven't spotted too

arguing across a table or has many shrinking violets among the TV

it moved on? buying directors or heads of

investment. That's all condensed

into a few weeks. But 52 weeks a year

we are doing a hell of a lot of

terrific work across all the

disciplines within our agency

customers. As for size, our men (and

there are still not enough women in TV

selling or buying) are leaner and

hungrier than some of their

predecessors.

What is the most imaginative Taking Campaign editorial staff to

client entertainment you've Parkinson!

organised this year?

ANDY BARNES - sales director, Channel 4

What are the highlights of We've got lots of great comedy such

your autumn schedule? as The Heist and the Phoenix Nights

spin-off, Peter Kay's Max & Paddy's

Road to Nowhere. There are films

such as Touching the Void, Bridget

Jones's Diary and Moulin Rouge.

The new reality show Musicality is

going to be great and there's The

Simpsons and the new series of

Teachers.

What share of television ad Whatever the market thinks we're worth

revenue do you expect to take and whatever we can persuade it to

for 2005? give us. We are very optimistic about

next year's trading though.

How effective is your Very effective. Channel 4 appeals to

multichannel strategy proving? the upmarket young audience, E4 is

youth directed, More 4 is our upmarket

part of the proposition and we've got

FilmFour. We endeavour to play to our

strengths and our success is driven by

the fact we would never come out with

a channel that is unrelated to what we

stand for and what we're good at.

How well do you think David Excellently. He was an inspired

Connolly, the Ofcom choice. Ofcom wanted a practitioner

adjudicator, is doing his job? who understands when there's bullshit

coming from either side and who

recognises and understands the

important issues. So far, he has been

both collaborative and inclusive.

What are your favourite I think Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights is

television shows? fantastic, Green Wing, The Monarchy

and I love Sky Sports.

Why should advertisers use Channel 4 provides advertisers with

your channel? the most difficult to reach parts of

the TV audience with minimum wastage.

Also we have some of the most honest,

reasonable and understanding brokers.

Have you got, or do you want, No, I haven't got one but it's one of

a personal video recorder? those things I'll get round to getting

eventually. I'd like one

professionally, but personally I don't

want one - I like watching things

live.

Is TV trading still It's moved on a bit! On both sides

essentially two big men there are seasoned and knowledgeable

arguing across a table or has professionals who know where they want

it moved on? to get to. They both want to trade and

they know the parameters. It's more

about two reasonable men arguing about

known facts and future potential.

What is the most imaginative Channel 4 is so frugal that we can

client entertainment you've hardly do any entertaining. What we do

organised this year? do, though, is linked to our shows, so

we take people to the cricket each

year and take them around the Big

Brother house. We took the whole of

the Carphone Warehouse team, from

Charles Dunstone all the way down to

the junior people, for dinner in the

Big Brother house and to meet the

presenters, Davina and Dermot, earlier

this year.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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