Channel 5 will have its own dedicated airtime sales team selling the
channel to advertisers and agencies when it is launched at the beginning
Nick Milligan, the sales director of UK Gold, is the favoured candidate
to head a Channel 5 sales operation. However, Milligan refused to
comment on the rumours this week.
Channel 5 Broadcasting, winner of the franchise announced last Friday,
is also being forecast by TV buyers to take as much as pounds 200
million in revenue in its first year of operation.
Greg Dyke, the chief executive of Pearson Television, the company
leading the Channel 5 Broadcasting consortium, said last week that
‘Channel 5 is unlikely to be sold alongside anybody else’.
Dyke would not be drawn on the level of advertising revenue the station
hopes to take, but estimates from agencies vary wildly.
A report from J. Walter Thompson expects the new channel to take pounds
65 million in ad revenue in its first year, rising to pounds 160 million
by the year 2001, while Initiative Media is forecasting a first-year
revenue of pounds 200 million. However, sources suggest that revenue is
likely to be around the pounds 100 million mark in the initial year.
In terms of its positioning in the airtime marketplace, agencies are
predicting that Channel 5 will be sold at about a 40 per cent discount
to the average price of total TV advertising. But sources claim the
discount is likely to be closer to 20 per cent.
JWT’s revenue forecasts are based on Channel 5 taking a 3 per cent share
of viewing in 1997, its first year, and 5 per cent by 2001. Dyke said of
the projected figures: ‘If we get a 10 per cent share of the audience in
non-satellite homes by the end of our second year, we’ll be doing really
Channel 5’s programming proposals are based on a stripped schedule with
a daily soap at 6:30pm, general entertainment from 7 to 8pm, news from
ITN at 8pm, adult education/factual programming from 8.30 to 9pm and
films or drama from 9pm.
Alongside Pearson, the Channel 5 Broadcasting consortium also includes
MAI, which owns the ITV companies, Meridian and Anglia.
Headliner, page 19