New channels joint venture authorised by BBC and Flextech

Flextech and the BBC have ratified their joint venture and are creating two new operational ventures. One will develop and launch subscription channels in the UK and Eire, and the other will acquire and operate UK Gold.

Flextech and the BBC have ratified their joint venture and are

creating two new operational ventures. One will develop and launch

subscription channels in the UK and Eire, and the other will acquire and

operate UK Gold.



Under the terms of the agreement, Flextech - whose interests already

include a number of cable and satellite channels such as Bravo and

Discovery - will fund the development of the channels. The BBC will

create and retain editorial control. The two companies will have a 50/50

share in the ventures.



Flextech will also be responsible for providing the distribution,

airtime sales, off-air marketing and management services to the joint

ventures.



Leagas Delaney and BST-BDDP are already working on the advertising

strategy to launch the venture and its new channels. BST will take

charge of advertising for up to eight channels, while Leagas Delaney

will concentrate on advertising the concept of the joint venture.



The company confirmed last week that Richard Burdett, currently the

vice-president of sales and marketing at Flextech, will take over as the

head of corporate marketing, while Tony Wheble, the sales controller of

Flextech, will become sales director.



The channels the two companies are planning to launch together are:

Catch-up TV, Sports Entertainment Network, One-TV (a TV version of Radio

1), Arena (a music and arts channel), Learning (an educational channel),

Horizons (documentary programming) and Style and Showcase (comedy and

drama). Some of the channels will carry advertising but none of the

BBC-branded channels will do so.



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