HSBC winds up ITV drama deal

ITV Sales is looking for a new sponsor for ITV Drama Premieres, following HSBC’s decision not to renew its long-running sponsorship, owing to a change in strategy.

HSBC, then known as Midland Bank, began its sponsorship of ITV Drama Premieres in 1996 and has repeatedly renewed its association without a break. The current deal, which includes all first-run, one-off dramas and new series of up to three parts, ends in December.

The sponsorship was used by HSBC to introduce its name to viewers after its takeover of Midland, and to help launch its single global brand in 1999. It is thought that the bank paid about &£2m a year for the deal.

An HSBC spokesman says: “The next stage of our UK communications will see us use a number of different devices, bringing to an end our long and successful association with ITV dramas.”

Branded in its own right, ITV Drama Premieres usually run in peak time and tend to attract large audiences. Amanda Burton, Ricky Tomlinson, Julie Walters and Tom Conti are all expected to feature in the winter season’s programming next year.

ITV Sales head of sponsorship and branded contact Gary Knight says: “The genre will continue to play a leading role within ITV1’s peak-time offering and will be the linchpin of ITV3, allowing potential sponsors even greater opportunities to exploit this brand partnership.”

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