Heseltine holds Granada to TV sales agreement

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The Independent Online
Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, yesterday put the seal on an anticipated shake-up of existing television advertising sales arrangements by refusing to vary undertakings given to the Office of Fair Trading by Granada, the television and rentals conglomerate, when it bought the London broadcaster, LWT, writes Gail Counsell.

The undertakings obliged Granada to cut the percentage of total television airtime sales controlled by it to about 25 per cent by August 1995. Through its Time Exchange sales house, which represents Scottish, Grampian and Border television as well as its own Granada television, it controlled airtime sales worth about 13.3 per cent of the market at the time of the bid.

LWT's Laser sales house, which acts for both LWT and Yorkshire Tyne Tees television, and which has 15.7 per cent of the market, took its total share to 29 per cent.

Granada, which now plans to fully integrate the two sales houses, will have to shed market share by ceasing to sell airtime for Scottish TV, which accounts for 3.9 per cent of the market.

Scottish television said the decision was not unexpected. Preparations for its new sales arrangements were well advanced and would be completed before the 1995 airtime selling season opened in the autumn.

It is widely expected to throw in its lot with TSMS, which acts for Meridian, Anglia, HTV, West Country, Ulster and S4C. Grampian, with 0.9 per cent of the market, indicated it might also switch to TSMS.