RTL Revives Thames Television Brand

22 August 2001

Thames Television, once one of the British TV industry’s most respected brand names, is set to make a comeback after years in hibernation, thanks to the imminent makeover by European media giant RTL of its Pearson Television production unit.

Thames, former holder of London’s lucrative ITV weekday franchise, was consigned to limbo in 1992 when it unexpectedly lost the franchise to Carlton Communications – an outcome many in the industry associate with Thames’ defiance of [then] prime minister Margaret Thatcher when it screened a contentious documentary, ‘Death on the Rock’, which openly charged the Thatcher administration of operating a shoot-to-kill policy against the IRA.

Pearson will be rebranded Fremantle Media across most of Europe in a move to divorce the production company from its parent, thereby facilitating its sale of content to RTL’s rivals.

But the Fremantle umbrella will not be used in local markets if there is an established marque that doesn’t conflict with any of RTL’s partners – as in the UK where Thames Television will reincarnate.

Branding consultancy Lambie-Nairn, whose résumé includes Channel 4’s distinctive branding and the relaunch of BBC1 and BBC2, has been retained to develop a visual identity for Thames, due to be unveiled on September 6.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)