Magazine article Marketing

TV Turmoil Looms

Magazine article Marketing

TV Turmoil Looms

Article excerpt

The brave new structure of commercial TV is doomed to fail even before it comes into effect next year, advertisers have been warned.

Unless they speak up now to allow changes to the law, the new TV system will simply deliver audience fragmentation and increased costs for advertisers, says Granada's new chief executive Andrew Quinn.

The only solution is to allow economies of scale through increased concentration of ownership. But this is effectively outlawed by the Broadcasting Act, Quinn told the ISBA policy conference last week.

The Act, a "camel" created by four years' debate on how to build a racehorse, is a perfect example of Catch 22. "It can't succeed, but it's illegal to stop it failing."

According to Quinn, ITV's share of viewing will fall and ITV revenues cannot sustain 15 regional companies with 15 sets of operating costs.

Further, high franchise bids are undermining the financial viability of some large stations. The withdrawal of discounts on network schedules to the six smallest companies means that at least five of them may not be viable. At present big contractors effectively subsidise the programme schedule of smaller companies, but this will end in 1993 with the arrival of central scheduling.

Channel 4 faces "a decaying share as the decade proceeds", and if Channel 4 Daily succeeds, the "underlying viability of the breakfast franchise has to be in question". …

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