Broadcast sponsors enjoy a more positive association with the Sky Television brand than with ITV, according to research for BSkyB.
Viewers expect sponsors of Sky programmes to be upmarket and blue-chip, whereas they believe companies sponsoring ITV series are more likely to be less interesting, the survey reveals.
“Sky is seen to be a go-ahead, technically advanced service: its image has moved from tabloid to lifestyle,” claims Graham Saxton, director of The Sponsorship Research Company, which conducted the study.
Sponsorship of Sky programmes ensures a threefold association: with the programme, the channel and the broadcaster. A tie-up with Sky endorses the sponsoring brand, Saxton claims.
“On commercial terrestrial channels, positive values conveyed to the sponsor stem entirely from the programme itself – ITV has no common personality,” according to the report, Paying for the Privilege – Staying for the Experience?
The findings also reveal that all Sky programmes – even the news – are perceived by viewers as available to sponsors, although news cannot be sponsored on any channel. Respondents believe sponsors’ products are overtly promoted during programmes and do not object – despite an Independent Television Commission ban on undue prominence.