No ads for Chris Evans’ breakfast show as Virgin Radio bags Sky sponsorship

Chris Evans' breakfast show will launch on 21 January

Chris Evans’ upcoming breakfast show on Virgin Radio UK will run without ad breaks, thanks to an all-encompassing sponsorship deal with Sky.

The Comcast brand has agreed to solely sponsor the programme for 12 months.

The deal means no other brands will advertise during the flagship show, while the partnership comprises branded content, competitions and events in lieu of traditional radio spots.

Virgin Radio hopes the agreement will allow the Chris Evans Breakfast Show to run unhampered by scheduled commercial breaks, much like it did when the DJ headed up the morning line-up on BBC Radio 2.

The show will debut online, on mobile and on DAB radio on 21 January.

Virgin Radio is wholly owned by Wireless, which was acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK in 2016. Comcast outbid Murdoch to take control of Sky earlier this year.

Stephen van Rooyen, chief executive for UK and Ireland at Sky, said: “The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio will bring audiences something completely new, bold and fresh – everything we love at Sky. We’re excited to create an innovative radio first with Chris and Virgin Radio and bring Sky customers even more of the entertainment they love when Virgin Radio launches across Sky from 7 January.”

Evans’ first presented on Virgin Radio in 1993. After a successful TV career, he joined the BBC in 2005. He announced his departure from the public broadcaster live on-air in September.

Evans said: “So much has changed in broadcasting since I was last at Virgin Radio that now, thanks to Sky, we can do the show without ad breaks.

“I’m even more excited about starting in the New Year.”

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