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Viacom pledges to leapfrog Channel 5 past Channel 4 in new ratings war

Channel 5’s new owner Viacom has vowed to ensure to surpass arch rival Channel 4 in the ratings game as part of increased competition amongst terrestrial broadcasters.

Viacom’s chief executive Philippe Dauman, who oversaw the £463m takeover of the station from Richard Desmond, said: “We are here to compete. We are here to win more viewership.”

Channel 5 is currently ranked fifth in the hierarchy of free-to-air channels in the UK with a 4.1 per cent audience share but Dauman is confident of improving upon this with an enhanced programming budget and access to Viacom content.

Commenting on overtaking Channel 4 Dauman added: “That’s the first step . . . We do not put bounds on our ambitions.

“We think Channel 5 has made great progress over the last few years, from where it was. It has a long way to go. We will climb up the ranks and I can understand how some people are afraid of competition and strong competition.”

Dismissing fears of a detrimental impact on Britain’s native television industry Dauman pledged to boost indigenous creative by increasing investments in London as an international hub.

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