Virgin Channel 5 court case judgment is expected soon

The outcome of Virgin TV’s judicial review of the ITC’s decision to award the Channel 5 licence to Channel 5 Broadcasting is expected soon, possibly by Friday.

Virgin TV goes to the High Court today (Wednesday). It is supported by New Century Television – the Rupert Murdoch consortium that also failed – which was granted leave to join the Virgin challenge last month.

UKTV, the highest failed bidder, will also make submissions.

All claim the ITC favoured successful bidder Channel 5 Broadcasting – alleging it was allowed to revise its bid after submission, something they were unable to do.

Industry sources expect the ITC to defend its position successfully.

C5B’s preparations for going on air are well underway and include: completing a transmission deal with NTL; appointing a firm of headhunters to find a marketing director; finalising recruitment of a financial director; and starting to draw up a shortlist of design firms to create the corporate identity.

The search for an advertising agency will start “shortly”, says a C5B spokesman. “We hope to get the marketing director on board as soon as we can but are prepared to start the search for an agency sooner, should we have to.”

UK Gold has yet to decide when sales director Nick Milligan can take up his new role as sales director of Channel 5. Sources suggest that this must be by Easter at the latest, if the channel is to stay on course for launch in 12 months’ time.

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