Sky to be sole reseller of all Viacom UK ads after contract renewal

Sky is to be the sole reseller of Viacom’s advertising inventory in the UK and Ireland in a deal that will also give it responsibility for a terrestrial broadcaster for the first time in Channel 5.

Both media owners have brokered the arrangement as part of an extension of their commercial deal in the region for a further five years. It pulls in Channel 5’s roster of channels - Channel 5, 5 USA and 5* - from June into advertising real estate that includes all 17 of Viacom's channels already sold by Sky Media.

Sky has been peddling Viacom’s inventory since 2009 and the extension is the first time it has been able to straddle hosting the company’s content, its ad sales as well as oversight of a terrestrial broadcaster in Channel 5.

Channel 5 will have no impact on the strategy for selling Viacom’s inventory despite being a terrestrial broadcaster with a broader audience profile. In essence, a few of Sky’s media partners and its owned channels are terrestrial broadcasters in as much as they’re platform agnostic and distributed to wider audiences.

The deal also means that Channel 5 inventory can now be sold through Sky’s AdSmart, which offers brands the chance to target specific audiences during live TV ad breaks.

John Litster, managing director of Sky Media, said it wants to give advertisers more choice through Channel 5. “We’ll be able to extend the reach of AdSmart,” he continued. “Therefore, we’ll be able to offer advertisers a greater service of audience of which to target than just the 15 or 20 BARB audiences.”

“We’re trying to make TV more relevant to more brands and actually grow the TV revenue pot. AdSmart does help to prove the effectiveness of TV. That’s shown by the fact that of all the brands and advertisers we’ve got, some 50 to 70 per cent are either new to TV or new to advertising. At the same time we’re working with advertisers who have been on TV for a long time and try to help them with their targeting needs,” he said.

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