ITV sales houses have clashed over Cadbury’s proposed sponsorship of
Coronation Street, fearing they could lose out on valuable advertising
revenue as a result of the biggest TV sponsorship deal.
A behind-the-scenes battle that strikes at the heart of sponsorship’s
value to broadcasters has been conducted over the past few weeks since
Cadbury declared its interest in sponsoring the flagship ITV brand.
Several ITV stations are understood to have been worried about losing
spot advertising revenue because some of the money for the sponsorship
deal - expected to cost Cadbury around pounds 10 million a year - is
likely to come from Cadbury’s spot ad budgets.
Although the sponsorship revenue will be divided fairly among the ITV
stations, some were concerned that it would not compensate them for loss
of airtime revenue.
One ITV sales chief admitted that balancing the relative sponsorship and
airtime revenues had caused some headaches. ‘If the sponsorship means
that we take less money overall, then it is not worth doing,’ he said.
Yet ITV insiders claim the deal is set to be signed within the week.