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Agile Computing Authors: Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff

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Channel 6 Announces Sony Pictures Television Networks as Latest Partner in ‘LondonTV’ Bid

The Channel 6 Consortium has announced an agreement with Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks in the UK for the provision of a range of services to support ‘LondonTV’, the Consortium’s proposed local channel for London. Under the agreement, SPT Networks will be a programme schedule provider and deliver creative services for the new channel in the event of a successful bid. In addition, SPT Networks’ UK advertising sales house, Dolphin Television, will handle all advertising sales for LondonTV on behalf of Channel 6.

Channel 6 is backed by Archant, Tindle and Trinity Mirror, London’s three main local newspaper groups. The deal will support LondonTV in building audiences and advertising revenues from launch, helping underpin its broader mission to produce thousands of hours of high quality local news and current affairs each year. Based in London, SPT Networks’ UK experience operating a portfolio of eight UK channels will enable it to offer economies of scale and proven expertise in the marketplace to LondonTV.

Announcing the agreement, Richard Horwood, Chief Executive of the Channel 6 Consortium, said: “Sony Pictures Television completes our bid in great style, alongside London’s diverse local newspaper groups and one of the top broadcast TV teams in the country. We could not have a better entertainment programming and ad sales partner. Local television has struggled in the past to be commercially successful in this country even where the potential has existed, even in London, due to lack of commercial realism. SPT Networks’ expertise in the multichannel sector will significantly strengthen LondonTV from the outset, attracting audiences and advertising revenues that will underpin our investment in high quality local programming and expand our capacity to commission more.”

SPT Networks senior vice president for Western Europe, Kate Marsh, added: “When Channel 6 first approached us, it quickly became clear their team represents a formidable mix of creative energy and commercial judgement that will provide a viable and attractive channel for London audiences. As a UK channel enterprise with global muscle, we can offer proven expertise and resources to help reinforce LondonTV as it spreads its wings and expands its local offering.”

SPT Networks UK portfolio includes Sony Entertainment Television and Sony Movie Channel, broadcasting leading film and television content from the US, UK and around the world. Dolphin Television creates and manages commercial revenue opportunities, such as ad sales and telemarketing, for UK broadcasters including Channel 4 and Welsh public service channel, S4C.

LondonTV will be a brand new voice for Londoners. Produced by over 100 dedicated television professionals, it will be able to draw on the unique and deep local relationships of the hundreds of journalists employed in the Consortium's many diverse local London newspapers. This will be combined with real time online interactions (london24.com), hyper-local social media conversations (streetlife.com), and mobile applications (mycityway.com), keeping the channel up to the minute for London's news, traffic, weather, listings, events and other local happenings right across the day. LondonTV’s Editorial Advisory Board, in conjunction with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and their thousands of member organisations across London, will guide and inform the local programming, ensuring the channel relates effectively to London's diverse communities, cultures, ethnic groups and interest groups, with all this local programming paid for by the big audiences and advertising revenues generated by its world class entertainment programming. LondonTV will also be working with Creative Skillset to identify and develop the cadre of video journalists who will be at the heart of its newsroom, with employment and internships for the best of the graduates emerging from their network of academies.

ENDS

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