NEWS: Live TV boss urges ITC to review cable rulings

Kelvin MacKenzie’s Live TV cable station has responded to official censure over the alleged flouting of sponsorship rules with a call for sweeping changes to them.

Kelvin MacKenzie’s Live TV cable station has responded to official

censure over the alleged flouting of sponsorship rules with a call for

sweeping changes to them.



The move follows a warning from the Independent Television Commission to

the Mirror Group-owned station over breaches of codes on sponsorship and

ad breaks.



But MacKenzie, the managing director of Live TV, claims the rules

prevent cable companies competing for ad revenue on the same terms as

terrestrial rivals.



In a letter to Peter Rogers, the ITC chief executive, MacKenzie argued

that cable channels can only answer the ITC’s call for original and

local programming if they can hook local advertisers.



TV ads are ruled out for many local companies because they are too

expensive, he claims, adding that, like radio, cable channels must woo

more advertising business through sponsorship.



MacKenzie has urged the ITC to bring its code on programme sponsorship

for local cable broadcasters into line with that of the Radio Authority.

This would allow not just longer sponsorship credits and a sponsor’s

name to be built into a programme title, but also the right to feature a

sponsor’s product on screen, show phone numbers, refer to sponsors and

use sponsors’ products as prizes.



The ITC, which is reviewing sponsorship codes, censured Live TV last

week after what it claimed was the undue prominence given to the

Daily Mirror in a news item on the Duchess of York and in a programme

called the Princess Diana Hoax Special.



The ITC was also angered at a claimed breach of its code on 24

September, when all Live TV shows were sponsored by Cadbury’s Fuse.



The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising this week also submitted

its views on the sponsorship code, calling for ITC rules to apply to all

broadcasters whether terrestrial, satellite or cable.



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