Channel 4 and Emap confirm music TV joint venture

Channel 4 and Emap have confirmed they are launching a music TV joint venture that aims to fight MTV for control of the market. Emap is selling a 50% share of its music channel portfolio, Box Television, to the broadcaster for £28m.

The media companies say the joint venture will look at exploiting digital growth, through initiatives such as video-on-demand. They add the channels benefit from Channel 4’s “premium music-based content” and expertise in digital channel and platform management as well as from Emap TV’s brand marketing experience and distribution.

The deal covers digital music stations The Hits, which has a Freeview digital terrestrial television slot, The Box, Kerrang!, Q, Smash Hits, Kiss and Magic, which are available on several platforms including cable and BSkyB.

Emap bought The Box in 1996 for £6m and has built up its TV music business through brand extensions of it existing music magazines and radio stations. Emap also provides interactive and on-demand services and is the exclusive provider of music videos to BT’s video-on-demand service, BT Vision.

Channel 4’s 4Music brand provides more than 750 hours of programming each year including coverage of several summer festivals. It says the music industry spends 36% of its total advertising budget with the broadcaster. It is launching three 4-branded radio stations from next year after the broadcaster led a consortium, which also includes Emap, to win the second digital multiplex earlier this month.

In the year to 31 March 2007, Emap’s music TV business had revenue of £27 million and operating profit of £7 million. At 31 March 2007, the business had gross assets of £8 million.

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