NEWS: YTTV attacks Laser as ad revenue falls short

Yorkshire Tyne Tees Television has threatened to dump its airtime sales house, Laser Sales, after accusing the operation of failing to maximise the value of YTTV’s commercial airtime.

Yorkshire Tyne Tees Television has threatened to dump its airtime sales

house, Laser Sales, after accusing the operation of failing to maximise

the value of YTTV’s commercial airtime.



YTTV has suggested that Laser, which is owned by Granada Group, was

under-performing on YTTV’s advertising revenue in a bid to drive down

the price of the station on the stock market.



Granada is said to be keen to mount a takeover of YTTV once the 1996

Broadcasting Act goes through. It already has a 24 per cent stake in

YTTV following a dawn raid earlier this year.



Ward Thomas, chairman of YTTV, said Laser was not delivering the level

of advertising revenue for YTTV stipulated in its contract. He said the

station’s advertising sales performance was ‘very disappointing’, adding

that ‘our half-year advertising revenue is well short of budget’.



Thomas suggested that YTTV’s share of total TV revenue should be a

minimum of 10.9 per cent, according to its contract with Laser. Instead,

its share is currently running at 10.22 per cent.



However, observers have said that YTTV’s advertising performance has not

been as poor as some other ITV stations outside London. Also, revenue

shares for the southern ITV stations have been bolstered by massive

spends from sectors such as telecomms, which have not been spending so

heavily in other regions. Thomas’s attack has been described in some

quarters as purely ‘political’.



Mick Desmond, the chief executive of Laser, which handles airtime sales

for Granada, London Weekend Television, Border and YTTV, said that all

business between Laser and YTTV was confidential.



The attack came as YTTV announced an increase in pre-tax profits from

pounds 7.4 million to pounds 13.3 million for the six months to 30 June.

Advertising revenue was up from pounds 81.8 million to pounds 84.6

million.



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