Broadcasting regulator the Independent Television Commission has put forward plans to allow Channel 4, Channel 5, GMTV, Sky and Flextech to merge their sales operations.

A consultation document released by the ITC suggests that current barriers to the joint sale of airtime should be removed in order to “lessen concerns about the potential market power of the Channel 3 sales houses”. The channels concerned could then consider pooling their sales arrangements.

The move is a response to the power of Carlton Communications and Granada Media, which between them control 60% of TV advertising. There are no plans to lift the ban on these two heavyweights working together to sell airtime.

The ITC is seeking input on the proposals from advertisers, media buyers and licensees before any decision is made. This consultation period will last until January.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)