ITV pulls out of BT sports channel ad sales pitch

ITV is understood to have pulled out of the pitch to handle the ad sales contract for the sports channels BT is set to launch next year.

Jake Humphrey: BT sports channel presenter
Jake Humphrey: BT sports channel presenter

Sources close to the process said ITV has decided not to continue with the pitch, leaving rivals Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky Media to battle it out against some smaller sales houses for the business.

ITV's decision to pull out of the process mirrors its involvement in BT's production pitch. ITV was initially the front runner for BT's production contract, but it pulled out of the process in October.

The fact ITV has pulled out of the pitch for both contracts suggests analyst speculation that there could be a wider deal or merger between the two companies is unlikely to be proved correct in the short term.

The first presentations from the TV sales houses took place at the end of November and one source close to the process said the long-list could be whittled down to a shortlist by the end of next week.

Media Week revealed BT would be looking for an ad sales partner in August ,and then who was bidding for BT's ad sales contract last month. A result is expected before the end of the year.

BT made a surprise swoop for Barclays Premier League rights in June and agreed to pay £246m a year for the right to broadcast 38 matches a season.

The telecoms giant has since picked up rights for both European football and rugby union, including games played by the teams in the Aviva Premiership, as well as the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Sevens.

As satellite is an open platform, BT is planning to sell its sport channels to customers directly, but BT could also wholesale them to Sky for it to retail as well, if the two companies are able to agree a commercially favourable deal.

A spokesman for BT and a spokeswoman for ITV both declined to comment.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

Ex-Topshop CMO and Tunepics founder Justin Cooke on 'insanity' and Einstein

Ex-Topshop CMO and Tunepics founder Justin Cooke on 'insanity' and Einstein

"There's magic in insanity," claims Tunepics founder and former Topshop CMO Justin Cooke, in a video for Virgin Atlantic in which he also discusses the challenges of running a business.

Share
Clarification: Omnicom not late to the government review

Clarification: Omnicom not late to the government review

Campaign is pleased to clarify that Omnicom is on the government media buying roster and did not apply late to any part of the pitch process, handled by the Crown Commercial Service.

Share
Budweiser hunts for buskers in global talent search backed by Jay Z and Rihanna

Budweiser hunts for buskers in global talent search backed by Jay Z and Rihanna

Budweiser is on a global hunt for undiscovered musical talent and is trawling the streets and subways of cities including London and New York to create the "ultimate busker band", in a campaign backed by global superstars Jay Z and Rihanna.

Share

Get news by email