Britain's ITV Finds Unlikely Ally in CRR Debate

12 October 2006

LONDON: US-owned advertising sales firm Viacom Brand Solutions has added its voice to that of British commercial broadcaster ITV in demanding a review of the Contracts Rights Renewal mechanism which prevents the television giant from raising CPT airtime prices to compensate for falling viewer numbers.

Nick Bampton, managing director of VBS, which represents channels including Nickelodeon and MTV, has told media regulator Ofcom that CRR is causing severe damage to the entire TV ad market.

He claims: "CRR has contributed to an environment where the only metric that counts is price . . . We would welcome a review of the TV marketplace, as you can't review CRR in isolation."

The CRR system was the price paid by ITV for its creation, resulting from a merger between the Carlton Communications and Granada TV franchises in January 2004. The formula was intended as a curb on the new giant's dominance of the TV ad market.

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff