Channels 4 and 5 may push for easing of TV airtime sales rules

Channel 4 and Channel 5 were this week considering whether to lobby the Independent Television Commission to relax airtime sales restrictions on national TV channels in the wake of the Government’s recent decision to allow ITV sales houses to control more than 25 per cent of TV revenue.

Channel 4 and Channel 5 were this week considering whether to lobby

the Independent Television Commission to relax airtime sales

restrictions on national TV channels in the wake of the Government’s

recent decision to allow ITV sales houses to control more than 25 per

cent of TV revenue.



The existing ITC rules prevent national TV channels from being sold

alongside each other, but the decision to allow two ITV companies to

merge means there could now be a case for allowing sales consolidation

outside ITV.



Channels 4 and 5 could now push for more sales freedom, although both

are waiting to see the outcome of the ITV ownership shake-up before

deciding on their response.



The commercial director of Channel 4, Andy Barnes, said: ’We are making

an assessment of how we think things will pan out and we will be taking

soundings before we make an announcement.’



Nick Milligan, the director of sales at Channel 5, added: ’Business

practice at Channel 5 is a private matter, but we will make our minds up

after the ITV line-up has been organised.’



Of the ITV sales houses, TSMS could be the most vulnerable whatever the

eventual outcome of the ITV merger talks. TSMS’s chief executive, Jerry

Hill, this week sent a letter to each member of staff offering them ten

weeks salary as a bonus if they stay until the end of the year.



He said: ’It is to get people to focus and ignore the distractions of

the present extraordinary situation.’



ITV convergence, p8.



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