Carling will be first to advertise on ITV Sport

Bass-owned Carling is to be the first brand to advertise on the ITV Sport Channel when it launches on Saturday (August 11).

Granada Enterprises Channels, a division of Granada Enterprises, has signed up a raft of blue-chip advertisers to the digital channel, including Adidas, Barclaycard, Budweiser, Pizza Hut and Honda.

Director of channels Craig Nayman says: “ITV Sport has been enthusiastically received by agencies and advertisers. It will broadcast over 150 games this season, concentrating on the Uefa Champions League, the Barclaycard Premiership, the Nationwide League and the Worthington Cup.”

ITV Sport will be available to subscribers to ITV Digital – the digital terrestrial platform owned by Carlton and Granada – and NTL, as a premium priced channel.

Granada Enterprises has also struck a deal with MindShare to reserve the first ad break in ITV’s main highlights programme The Premiership exclusively for the media agency’s clients across the TV regions it sells.

MindShare client Ford will take the first and last spots in the break, while Kit Kat, IBM, Nike and United International Pictures will also take spots.

The Premiership programme will be launched on the main ITV channel (to be rebranded as ITV1 from Saturday) on August 18 at 7pm.

The Nationwide building society is to sponsor broadcast coverage of the Nationwide League by ITV1 and ITV Sport, following reports that Granada Enterprises and Nationwide were in discussions about a deal last month (MW July 12).

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