Laser moots moving into handling overseas TV channel airtime sales

ITV sales house Laser is investigating the possibility of handling TV airtime sales for foreign broadcasters from London.

The company, which sells 700m of UK airtime in the Granada, LWT, Yorkshire Tyne-Tees and Border TV regions, is in talks with two broadcasters from emerging markets.

Commercial channels in countries such as Russia, China and Slovenia are in their infancy and under pressure to improve their research and evaluation systems for multinational advertisers.

Gary Knight, executive commercial director for the Laser Commercial Enterprises Unit, says: “We are in discussions about whether we have a relationship on international airtime and sponsorship sales.

“We are asking if it is feasible to do this from London, as it already is done for sales of international press titles such as Time and Newsweek.

“We have spent 30 years in this field. Many of these broadcasters were run by the state until very recently and might only have about 12 months’ experience.”

Laser would initially act on a consultancy basis for “back-of-house” operations such as research. But Knight says Laser is investigating whether it could act as an agent for the broadcasters.

See Media Analysis, page 16

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