Magazine article Marketing

ITV Should Be on Its Guard for the Channel 5 Launch

Magazine article Marketing

ITV Should Be on Its Guard for the Channel 5 Launch

Article excerpt

There used to be a time, not so long ago, when there was something called the ITV Association. ITV managing directors met and squabbled and just occasionally made a decision about the future. In those days journalists even tried to find out what had been decided on the grounds that it might be interesting or conceivably important. It hardly seems worth the bother these days. If it wasn't for Barry Cox it would almost be as if the ITV Association didn't exist. Power on ITV has slipped into a few hands and they are generally not the sort of people who would bother turning up to an ITV council meeting.

The ITV companies seem so blase you would think they didn't have a care in the world, that the ratings battle is being won hands down, that advertisers are happy with the service they are getting and the opposition - BBC, Channel 4, Sky and Channel 5, pose hardly any threat at all. Then the ITV companies called in Andrew Quinn, a chief executive at the centre. But now with a [pounds]1.8bn business under competitive threat they don't think they need such a figure. It's nice to see ITV so sanguine.

The problem is not so much about minor matters, such as having to spend [pounds]40m a year on a digital terrestrial TV channel that no one will be able to see just to suck up to the government, or eccentric decisions to prevent the viewers of the Yorkshire-Tyne Tees region seeing a perfectly innocuous Hollywood Lovers show. Those sort of things are simply par for the course and are well in line with the best traditions of the ITV system. …

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