Channel 5 plays down coverage fears

Channel 5 has played down the commercial implications of its lower-than-anticipated coverage, claiming that airtime sales are healthy even though only 50 per cent of homes receive the channel and many of them are subject to poor picture quality.

Channel 5 has played down the commercial implications of its

lower-than-anticipated coverage, claiming that airtime sales are healthy

even though only 50 per cent of homes receive the channel and many of

them are subject to poor picture quality.



A second sweep of qualitative research by Manning Gottlieb Media found

screen snow, aerial problems and video interference affected half of its

sample, with the worst problems experienced in London. Within many

homes, the channel can only be accessed on one TV set.



On the plus side, MGM found that the most enthusiastic viewers are young

and mainstream and feel that Channel 5 is filling clear gaps. So far,

they rate the output at five out of ten and expect the programming to

improve over the next six months.



Viewers noted the lack of UK drama series, but the Jack Docherty Show is

a resounding success among younger consumers, while the nightly soap,

Family Affairs, is considered accessible.



But Channel 5 news is considered to be lacking depth by upmarket 25- to

44-year-old men, while women in the same age group dislike the punchy

delivery.



Interest in the movie slot is mixed, with concern over the channel’s

ability to provide popular and up-to-date titles and the lack of a

Saturday night film.



A fresh marketing drive is now planned to promote forthcoming programmes

such as the England versus Poland World Cup qualifier. It will also

remind people to tune their TV sets in to receive the channel and where

to find it on the Astra satellite.



The launch on Astra last week gave Channel 5 the same share of viewing

in satellite homes as in all homes - 2.6 per cent.



And despite disappointing overall coverage, Nick Milligan, the sales

director of Channel 5, said commercial impacts were within predictions

of 4 to 6 per cent.



’It appears we have secured nearly 7 per cent of all viewing in homes

that can receive us. That number exceeds even our full-year plan, so the

great opportunity now is to get in more homes at this viewing share,’ he

said.



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