Magazine article Marketing

ITN's Acquisition May Have Found Hidden Treasure

Magazine article Marketing

ITN's Acquisition May Have Found Hidden Treasure

Article excerpt

It doesn't happen very often but just sometimes you can find, if not quite an old master, then at least a surprisingly valuable painting under the grime that everyone has ignored.

ITN might have stumbled on something with its [pounds]5m deal to buy 49% of Euronews from French electronics firm Alcatel and, crucially, managerial control.

Apart from an occasional sighting in an airport lounge, you could have been forgiven for thinking that Euronews had been quietly interred years ago. It appeared to be a pantomime horse of a news channel, whose parentage included the European Broadcasting Union, the European Commission and most of the public service broadcasters of Europe, except, to be chauvinistic for a moment, those who might conceivably make it work - the Brits.

It seemed to be something that had somehow survived from aeons ago - the age when there were people who believed in pan-European broadcasting.

But when you clean away the debris from Euronews a remarkable picture begins to emerge. The channel that was a dim and distant memory for most people compared with such pan-European brands as CNN, NBC, BBC World, and even in a more specialist domain, EBN, has hidden treasures.

The first is widespread distribution. Through a mixture of cable, satellite and terrestrial re-broadcasting, Euronews is available in 90 million homes in 43 countries. Of course, the cable and satellite industry has always preferred, for obvious reasons, the 'being available in trillions of homes' measurement rather than old-fashioned gauges like viewing figures. …

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