Channel 4 seeks new sponsor for Simpsons as Pizza Hut pulls out

Channel 4 is seeking a new sponsor for the high-profile sponsorship of The Simpsons, after Pizza Hut decided against renewing its 12-month deal. The existing sponsorship will expire in November.

It is not clear why the pizza chain has decided against renewing the deal. A statement from Pizza Hut and Channel 4 says/ “Pizza Hut’s sponsorship of The Simpsons has delivered great results in 2005 in building brand awareness of our delivery brand, communicating our ‘one number’ hotline and driving sales in the home delivery sector.”

It adds that Pizza Hut aims to continue building its delivery business, but that it will be “exploring new communication opportunities for 2006”.

The sponsorship is understood to be one of Channel 4’s biggest deals, as the channel has made the cartoon series a key part of its schedule. The channel broadcasts its back-catalogue of shows in the 6pm slot from Sunday to Thursday and shows the latest episodes at 9pm on Friday evenings. It is thought that Pizza Hut paid &£4m for the sponsorship, which was negotiated by Starcom Motive.

Rival pizza chain Domino’s Pizza has sponsored The Simpsons on Sky One since 1998. The seven-year deal is credited with helping to build awareness of Domino’s as a national brand.

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