Channel 5 plans ‘Fox TV’ agenda

Channel 5 has started to unveil its programming schedules to advertising agencies and has revealed that it plans to mimic the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox Network in the US.

The company has been presenting to agencies and has revealed that it will screen Fox-made programmes such as Beverley Hills 90210, Melrose Place and a new sci-fi programme Lexx. The programmes will make its debut on Fox’s UK sister station BSkyB and be repeated on C5.

C5 announced that it was planning joint programme making and acquisition deals with BSkyB in May.

The channel is seeking the joint programming deals to save money and target a young, mass-market audience.

Murdoch’s Fox Network in the US, which supplies much of BSkyB’s programming, broke new ground in the States with programming that was younger and more innovative than the existing terrestrial networks.

Other plans include showing movies – mostly made for TV – every night between 9pm and 11pm.

The daytime schedule will include a Big Breakfast-style show for teenagers which will air between 4pm and 6pm. From 2pm to 4pm the channel will broadcast a studio-based magazine programme aimed at women.

Some agencies have registered concern about the lack of UK produced shows C5 will be broadcasting during peaktime. “Although 60 per cent of the programming is going to be its own,” says one buying director. “Two hours out of five in peak look like being low-quality, US made-for-TV movies.”

C5’s advertising sales team has told media buyers they can decide how the channel will trade its airtime.

The channel is willing to do deals based on ratings delivery, coverage delivery or on a cost-per-thousand-viewers basis.

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