Channel 5 close to satellite deal with Astra
Monday 07 April 1997
Channel Five can currently reach only about 50 per cent of the UK population and large parts of the country, especially south of London, parts of East Anglia, Wales and the north of Scotland, are unable to receive the signal.
Another 15-20 per cent of the population will need adjustments or extensions to aerials to receive pictures of a watchable quality. An extra 2 million viewers would give Channel Five a further 10 per cent of the potential national television viewing audience.
The satellite-based service from Channel Five would be accessible free of charge to all the 4 million UK households which have a satellite dish, about half of which will already be able to access Channel Five. Channel Five would be expected to pay around pounds 4m a year for the service, which has to be set against the extra advertising revenue it could secure by increasing its accessibility.
Astra has agreed to make transponder space available on one of its satellites to the Pearson group, which is a shareholder in Thames, which in turn owns a 7 per cent stake in Societe Europeenne de Satellites, the Luxembourg- based company which owns the Astra satellites.
Pearson has already agreed to take the space at an annual rental of pounds 3.9m. It is also one of the four controlling shareholders in Channel Five and would, in turn, make the space available to Channel Five at a commercial rate.
Channel Five is currently assessing just how many potential extra viewers the satellite would bring in, and how many of them would translate into actual viewers based on its current response. If it decides the extra cost is unjustified Pearson is expected to sell the space on to a German television channel.
Channel Five's chief executive officer, David Elstein, is known to be keen to add satellite and cable capability, however, and on the basis of the early audience figures he is expected to sign the deal with Astra this week.
Channel Five had earlier started talks with Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB satellite channel to provide access for Channel Five, but this is not now proceeding.
The extra cost of enlarging the potential audience will add to the programming costs, which are now running around pounds 110m a year, and the pounds 22m licence fee payable to the Government.
Retuning an estimated 10 million video recorders to prevent interference from the new channel is expected to cost Channel Five up to pounds 100m, compared with the initial estimate of pounds 55m.
But Channel Five claims to have reached 6.2 per cent of the national TV audience on the opening day, and has fluctuated around 4 per cent of the audience since. It hopes to capture 5 per cent of the national audience after the first year, which would put it roughly equal with the Sky satellite audience.
The new channel has been welcomed by advertisers who hope the extra competition will hold down advertising charges, which have risen by almost 50 per cent over the past five years. Channel Five's advertising has brought in pounds 10m for the first month alone and revenues are expected to reach pounds 60- 70m in the first 12 months.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nelson Bunker Hunt dead: Former world’s richest man dies in 'modest circumstances' in US after losing his fortune
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...