IPC’s leading weekly TV guide, TV Times, is linking with electrical retailer Comet to promote the magazine’s film listings and Comet’s new ‘surround-sound’ TVs. Comet will sponsor the TV Times eight-page film guide and provide vouchers against free copies of the magazines to Comet customers who ask for a demonstration of the new TV. All press ads for Comet will be branded with the TV Times logo with the strapline ‘To see what you’ve been missing.’

Eagle Star will jointly sponsor the Danka Arrows Formula One team and Gloucester Rugby Club. Ironically, in July The Guardian revealed that Eagle Star’s parent group BAT is planning to create a Formula One “superteam” with British racing car constructor Reynard and driver Jacques Villeneuve in an effort to get round the ban on advertising. The two deals could result in BAT backing Arrows-driver Damon Hill through Eagle Star and his rival Villeneuve through its tobacco interests.

Cable and satellite subscribers would prefer to pick their favourite channels rather than buy bundled packages of premium and lower interest channels according to research from CIA MediaLab’s Sensor survey. According to the research, 79 per cent said they would like this choice.

Channel 5 has signed Blur lead singer, Damon Albarn, to sing the theme music for its coverage of the European cup runs for Chelsea, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Leicester City and Arsenal football clubs…

…C5’s programming budget will increase by between five and seven per cent in real terms next year, according to chief executive David Elstein.

The BBC World Service has approached Saatchi & Saatchi to assess how to sell advertising on its non-UK frequencies.

News International retail group head Mike Mackintosh has been appointed advertising manager for NI in Scotland. He replaces Stephen Tate, who will join The Scotsman as deputy advertising director next month.

Adshel, the bus poster contractor, has restructured its sales department. Former sales director Chris O’Donnell becomes development director and Susan Beatty is the new sales director.

Time magazine’s new ad (right) in a series called ‘Step out of your world’ featuring people of global significance is about the highs and lows of tennis star Martina Navratilova’s career. The ad, by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, will appear on CNN, BBC World, Eurosport, NBC Bloomberg and inflight channels from next month.

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