TV sales houses in team-up talks

TV broadcasters are understood to be in discussions to merge their advertising sales teams in anticipation of the relaxation of the Contract Rights Renewal (CRR) mechanism.

Reports have emerged today that BSkyB and Channel 4 are in talks to consolidate their ad sales team in a major cost saving strategy.

But it is believed that any such a tie-up would be much more widespread and encompass the other industry players, including Five, with discussions currently underway between all sales houses.

A possible consolidation of sales teams would be contingent on the relaxation or abolition of CRR, which would see the market leader, ITV, released from the shackles that restricts the process of selling advertising.

It is also understood that even if Channel 4 were to merge with BBC Worldwide, an industry wide consolidation of sales teams would still be on the cards in a bid to compete against ITV.

Channel 4 recently reported†that total revenues fell 4% to £906.1m in 2008 and advertising revenues fell 4% to £789.7m.

Ids, the sales house owned by Virgin Media TV (VMtv), sells advertising for the VMtv channels, UKTV, Setanta Sports and Virgin on Demand.

Viacom Brand Solutions is the sales house for MTV Networks UK.†

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