C4 hunts sponsor as VW ends deal

Channel 4 is seeking a new sponsor for its entire sports programming because Volkswagen has decided not to renew the &£3m deal.

The car manufacturer, which has been contracted to Channel 4 for two years, believes that the sponsorship has served its purpose. The contract comes to an end in May.

Volkswagen communications manager Bernard Bradley says: “The sponsorship was to do a specific job, which was to get more TV exposure for its niche models. It was difficult to see what else the sponsorship could do for us in the future.”

The deal, which involved one sponsor for all the sports programming on Channel 4, resulted in the output being rebranded as “Sport on Four”.

The original contract was agreed by Bradley’s predecessor, Nigel Brotherton, who moved to head sales in the south east last year.

The deal was brokered by BBJ Media Services, which lost VW’s business to Mediacom TMB last year.

Bradley says that VW will continue to remain in contact with Channel 4 over programme sponsorship. If an opportunity that was “suitable came up”, he says, the company would consider it.

Sport on Four programmes include Channel 4 racing, Football Italia, basketball and American football. Last year, Channel 4 snatched the English Test cricket from the BBC in a &£103m four-year deal.

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