Flextech, the cable and satellite TV programming group, is to launch a
separately branded sales house into the TV marketplace and is opening
its doors to handle business from channels outside the Flextech family.
The new sales house will mark the rebranding of United Artists
Programming’s in-house sales division as a standalone operation. Richard
Burdett, vice-president of sales at UAP, will take charge of the sales
Burdett’s existing portfolio of channels includes Bravo, Discovery and
the Learning Channel. Airtime sales for all of these channels will now
be handled by the new sales house, which will also take charge of sales
for the Family Channel, which was acquired by Flextech last week. The
Family Channel’s sales director, Alan Bryson, has left the company to
join NBC as its sales director for Europe.
The new operation will also be free to manage sales for cable and
satellite channels that are not owned or managed by Flextech. The idea
is to create a force in the TV market that gives the individual channels
more muscle in negotiations with media buyers.
Whether UK Gold and UK Living, in which Flextech currently has minority
stakes, will be included remains a moot point. Flextech is poised to up
its holding in these two channels, which together represent the largest
non-Sky satellite revenue base.
Some buyers claim Flextech needs the clout of UK Gold before it can
become a real force in the TV market, but Burdett said: ‘Launching a
Flextech sales house makes absolute sense with our existing portfolio of
The sales house will control about 11 per cent of cable and satellite