C-T backs out of ITV Fantasy Football show

Carlsberg-Tetley has pulled out of talks to sponsor ITV’s Fantasy World Cup programme at the 11th hour.

The show, starring comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, became famous on BBC as Fantasy Football League, but transferred to the commercial network last September.

According to both media buying and sponsorship sources, the original price tag of 3m for a sponsorship and joint airtime deal frightened sponsors off.

The deal has subsequently been restructured to a sponsorship-only one and the price has fallen to 850,000. Inside sources suggest that Carlsberg was very close to signing but new marketing director Doug Clydesdale, who replaced Doug Scott in January, thought the money would be better spent on TV spot advertising.

There have also been allegations that the show’s production company Avalon has too dominant a position in the negotiations. It is understood that talks are continuing with other sponsors to secure a deal before the the World Cup kicks off on June 10.

Media Analysis, page 16

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