Media / Talk of the Trade: Lottery hunters

BBC and ITV are competing for the exclusive rights to run a live weekly national lottery programme: they assume it will be a top rating event. Richard Branson, who plans a purely charitable, non-profit-making lottery, said yesterday that he favours the BBC, perhaps with a link-up to BSkyB. He is also still looking for ways to land a precious FM band width for Virgin 1215, currently on fuzzy medium wave. Instead of trying to wheedle one out of the BBC, he is lobbying the Radio Authority for the 105-108 FM frequencies, being vacated by the emergency services, to be put up for tender as a national pop franchise.