Magazine article Marketing

Why the ITC Must Rethink Its Views on Masthead TV

Magazine article Marketing

Why the ITC Must Rethink Its Views on Masthead TV

Article excerpt

It would have been understandable if you hadn't noticed, but masthead television is demonstrating occasional twitches of life.

The long battle to get permission to show commercial television programmes that carried the brand name, and general content, of leading magazines seemed like a hollow one. Yes you can do it, but broadcasters were rather more interested in getting some decent, subsidised programmes for daytime and late at night than opening up primetime slots to publishers. The mismatch between the expectations of those involved looked like a fatal flaw.

Yet Dazed magazine did manage to get a rather extraordinary masthead programme onto Channel 4 and a pilot show based on FHM has apparently been well received. Earlier this year, IPC appointed independent producer Nick Ryle as head of television development. Ryle is planning to take IPC's NME brand to TV and is also looking at the cult strip from Loaded, Office Pest, as a future animated series.

Elsewhere masthead TV is already much more firmly established. In Germany a political weekly was able to plaster its name all over a current affairs programme. The television was terrible but that's not the point. In Germany an entire segment of the schedule is set aside for masthead. Network television in the US has been perfectly happy to take clearly branded specials from National Geographic.

In the UK some serious regulatory and business issues have to be sorted out before masthead TV can make much progress. The main business issue can be clearly stated. …

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