NEWS: Media buyers point to uncertain future for GSB TV channels

The long-awaited launch of Granada Sky Broadcasting’s cable and satellite TV channels next week has met with a downbeat response from the advertising community.

The long-awaited launch of Granada Sky Broadcasting’s cable and

satellite TV channels next week has met with a downbeat response from

the advertising community.



GSB’s seven satellite TV channels will debut on 1 October, backed by a

high-profile campaign through Lansdown Conquest and Zenith Media.

However, a number of media buyers have attacked the schedules for being

‘weak’ and ‘disappointing’ and for offering nothing new.



Jim McDonald, TV buying controller at New PHD, has criticised the

flagship channel, Granada Gold, for relying too heavily on Coronation

Street. It will re-run every episode of the soap-opera since 1976 on a

daily basis. ‘Quite how much people want to watch episodes that aren’t

even topical any more is questionable,’ he said.



David Cuff, broadcast director of Initiative Media, commented: ‘Audience

impacts are based in mainstream content. Despite fragmentation, most

viewing is in mainstream genres. It looks as if it has some good

formats, but it’s just another satellite station.’



Another buyer said: ‘It’s hardly ground-breaking, is it? The direct

marketing campaign has been a flagrant waste of money.’



But McDonald said: ‘I wouldn’t have any hesitation in recommending it to

clients that are totally on-board with the idea of satellite or for whom

the fit is right. We all want more choice, but it’s difficult to see

anything innovative here.’



GSB’s sales director, Andy Hawkins, said: ‘Given the diversity of the

schedule and quality of programming, I can’t see how you can say it is

weak for a satellite station. I admit we’re relying on Coronation Street

as a promotional tool. But we’re selling it as part of the Granada Plus

schedule.’



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