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Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Channel leaders debate at Edinburgh TV Fest!


The heads of all major television channels have spoken together about how their channels are doing. Here's what we learnt from the debate.


  • Attracting the Young Viewer: All average age of viewers for channels are over 50s. BBC - 62, ITV - 60. 
  • Discussion about whether sex-heavy programmes are attracting young people i.e. Naked Attraction on Channel 4, Versailles on BBC, Celebrity Big Brother on Five and Love Island on ITV2 with all channel heads arguing  argued that this is just part of their schedules and other programmes rate high with young people such as the Great British Bake Off.


  • Echoes to the past getting louder : The BBC challenged over bringing back old sitcoms and Robot Wars, ITV on the return of Blankety Blank (we wanted a Xmas special featuring David Walliams). Channel 4 were challenged on nostalgia by bringing back TFI Friday which had to be cancelled when Evans left for Top Gear. Jay Hunt adamant that TFI won't be coming back and that she has shut the door on nostalgia.


  • Scheduling: The Sunday night battle between Victoria and Poldark.  ITV's Kevin Lygoe confident that there's room in the market that both will survive and added that Poldark is made by an ITV studio so its win-win either way. BBC1's Charlotte Moore agreed saying that neither channel should shy away from bringing out their big drama guns in the prime Sunday night slots. Channel 4's Jay Hunt agreed to an extent but felt that the BBC should be aware that if the scheduling clash has a negative effect on ITV then they'll lose advertises as a result.


  • The Brexit Effect: All channel heads agreed that they tried to produce balanced debates and they feel that partiality wouldn't have worked any better. Channel Five's Ben Frow also added that too much emotion was brought into the debate and therefore the facts got brushed to the side.
  • Secret Salary's: All channel heads agreed that the government's request for BBC top talent's pay is wrong and some of them argued that names such as Graham Norton weren't being paid enough. They all agreed that the way they want about it was mean-spirited and it would encourage a bidding war for some talent if the figures were released.


Final summation all heads felt their channels were in a very healthy state considering that they were all told last year that they would be out of jobs. All channel heads confident that we are at a high point in the history of TV.

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