NEWS: Flextech opens sales house’

Flextech, the cable and satellite TV programming group, is to launch a separately branded sales house into the TV marketplace and is opening its doors to handle business from channels outside the Flextech family.

Flextech, the cable and satellite TV programming group, is to launch a

separately branded sales house into the TV marketplace and is opening

its doors to handle business from channels outside the Flextech family.



The new sales house will mark the rebranding of United Artists

Programming’s in-house sales division as a standalone operation. Richard

Burdett, vice-president of sales at UAP, will take charge of the sales

house.



Burdett’s existing portfolio of channels includes Bravo, Discovery and

the Learning Channel. Airtime sales for all of these channels will now

be handled by the new sales house, which will also take charge of sales

for the Family Channel, which was acquired by Flextech last week. The

Family Channel’s sales director, Alan Bryson, has left the company to

join NBC as its sales director for Europe.



The new operation will also be free to manage sales for cable and

satellite channels that are not owned or managed by Flextech. The idea

is to create a force in the TV market that gives the individual channels

more muscle in negotiations with media buyers.



Whether UK Gold and UK Living, in which Flextech currently has minority

stakes, will be included remains a moot point. Flextech is poised to up

its holding in these two channels, which together represent the largest

non-Sky satellite revenue base.



Some buyers claim Flextech needs the clout of UK Gold before it can

become a real force in the TV market, but Burdett said: ‘Launching a

Flextech sales house makes absolute sense with our existing portfolio of

channels.’



The sales house will control about 11 per cent of cable and satellite

viewing.



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