The Money Channel signs Granada deal

THE MONEY CHANNEL, an AIM-listed television channel specialising in coverage of business and personal finance, has agreed an air-time sales and sponsorship contract with Granada Mediasales.

The boost to the channel, scheduled to begin broadcasting on Sky Digital on 7 February, saw the company's share price jump a further 37p to 132p, valuing it at pounds 56m. It has gained 600 per cent since its June flotation at 22p.

Granada Mediasales is Britain's leading television air-time sales house. Its satellite and cable division sells television air time and programme sponsorship for Granada Sky Broadcasting's channels, The Performance Channel, Champions' League football and other special broadcasts on ONdigital.

"Following our deal with BSkyB last month, this is our second alliance with a major international media group. It shows that The Money Channel's powerful proposition for easy-to-understand financial television programming continues to win industry support," said chairman Paul Killik.

Directors of the company, including Mr Killik and former pop star Adam Faith, have a 27 per cent stake. Investment bank Schroders owns 20 per cent.

With the pounds 6.5m raised from the sale of 53 per cent of the company's stock, The Money Channel is building state-of-the-art studios in Wapping, east London. The channel will operate 24 hours a day, including repeat programming. Its live segments will correspond with the opening hours of the London Stock Exchange.

The company is contracting about 100 market and consumer finance specialists to provide comment and analysis. The channel will cover pensions and savings, mortgage, insurance and credit-card issues. It plans to launch an Internet website once the satellite TV channel is broadcasting.

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