Channel 4 sees turnover increase despite flat advertising sales

Channel 4 has announced a 5% increase in turnover for 2006 despite a 39m fall in sales for its flagship channel. The figures were revealed in its annual report, which was published today (Tuesday).

Channel 4 has announced a 5% increase in turnover for 2006 despite a £39m fall in sales  and sponsorship for its flagship channel. The figures were revealed in its annual report, which was published today (Tuesday).

The broadcaster says that the dip in sales at Channel 4 to £696m was offset by a £40m increase in revenue for its digital channels, including E4 and More4. The channels reported revenue of £128m, which was helped by the launch of More4 in October 2005 and the launch of E4 and Film4 as free-to-air channels on Freeview.

The broadcaster also received a major boost from its new media division, which saw turnover more than double from £24.5m in 2005 to £51m for 2006.

Audience share across the channel’s portfolio was up 10% to 12.1% with the core Channel 4 network growing from 9.7% in 2005 to 9.8%. The group took its highest annual share of the UK’s TV advertising market, which was up from 22% in 2005 to 23.5%.

The figures follow lobbying by Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan for “alternative help” from the government as the country moves towards digital switchover. The broadcaster is currently gifted spectrum by government.

Media regulator Ofcom is reviewing the broadcaster’s finances and a recent report commissioned by the watchdog predicted Channel 4 could be operating at a loss by the end of the decade and could run out of money altogether by 2012 (MW April 11).

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