Channel 4 has found a sponsor for its much-hyped forthcoming series
Big Brother, after its original deal with a newspaper fell through
(Media Business, 5 June).
United Distillers & Vintners’ Southern Comfort is to sponsor the
ten-week series, which will hit TV screens on Saturday 17 July.
The sponsorship - one of the broadcaster’s biggest this year - will run
alongside a PR and promotions campaign for the drink.
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Southern Comfort by MediaVest.
Creative agency D’Arcy has created a series of five-, ten- and 15-second
break bumpers, designed to relate to the unfolding storylines in Big
The series is the first fully interactive TV show to be screened in the
The programme will be broadcast live, 24-hours a day, on a dedicated
Around 40,000 people applied to Channel 4 to take part in the show. The
ten successful volunteers will live in a specially constructed house
where hidden cameras will record their every move.
The series format has aired across Europe, where it was reported to have
attracted a 73 per cent audience share over a nine-month period in
Holland, Spain and Italy.
A newspaper was initially interested in sponsoring the series, but
senior Channel 4 management said they did not want another media owner
sponsoring a programme.
Channel 4’s recent late-night drama series Lock, Stock ... was sponsored
by The Sun.
Graeme Tulloch, brand manager for Southern Comfort at UDV, said:
’Sponsorship has worked well outside the UK but this is the first time
we have sponsored a TV show in this country.’