Buyers predict inflation ‘halved’ after C5 launch

Media buyers believe Channel 5 could help cut TV inflation in half if ITV and Channel 4 improve their output to compete with it.

The channel launched its young, mass-market programming to buyers this week. Many likened the schedule to satellite channel Sky One and the Fox Network in the US.

The centrepiece of the stripped schedule is the nine o’clock movie which will run against news on ITV and BBC1 and a British soap, Family Affairs, that will compete with regional news magazines on the two big channels.

“The mission for C5 is to entertain,” says programme director Dawn Airey. “Soaps and movies are going to be key. Modern TV is about routine and we are making it easy for viewers to make an appointment to view.”

Other mainstays of the daily schedule include: a late-night chat show hosted by comedian Jack Docherty, followed by a comedy slot; a gossipy entertainment news magazine called Exclusive! at 7pm; “fresher, faster and more entertaining” news at 8pm; and a lifestyle segment covering gardening, cookery and property at 8.30pm.

Mornings will feature pre-school programming, an Australian soap opera for children and a women’s consumer magazine show. Afternoons will be dominated by US soap operas, a repeat of Family Affairs and a news magazine.

At weekends, the schedule will be filled with acquired US action-drama shows, children’s programming, omnibus editions of its soaps and more films.

ITV has announced that it is to strip its soap Emmerdale across the week that C5 launches and will air two films – Ace Ventura and Sister Act II.

“Advertisers would be looking at double-figure inflation this year if it weren’t for C5 and the fact that ITV and C4 will improve their programmes to compete,” says Bill Barker, broadcast director at J Walter Thompson. “Provided they take advantage of C5, advertisers can reduce inflation from eight or nine per cent to four or five per cent.”

“I think the gap in the market C5 is targeting exists,” says Mike Smallwood, media director of Lowe Howard-Spink. “It is crucial they get sampling in the launch period – so expect to see the best stuff first.”

However, some buyers still want more information.

“It was a slick presentation, but short on the detail buyers need before making investment decisions. We want the full April schedule,” says Tim Greatrex, Zenith’s deputy managing director.

Other buyers express concern about how many of its films and acquired US shows will already have been seen on satellite or video.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here