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Channel 5 swaps ads for new media equity

Sets sights on becoming major content provider

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Britain's youngest terrestrial TV channel, Channel 5, is on the look out for hot new media companies according to a report in the FT today. The fledgling TV company is prepared to offer free advertising on its station in return for an equity stake in any new media company it believes has the potential to be a rip-roaring success. A spokesman for Channel 5 told The Register that it was in talks with a number of companies although he would not comment about a tie-up with a yet-to-be-launched sports portal or "sportal". Although there are any number of reasons why Channel 5 would want to jump into bed with a range of Web companies, there is one that is strikingly obvious. With the imminent arrival of nation-wide broadband access in the UK the TV station would be well suited to providing a content-based service. Bolster that with content from Web-based companies and Channel 5 and its partners have the makings of an interactive service that could rival any of the operators currently touted to adopt ADSL. A spokesman for Channel 5 refused to comment directly on this but said that such an idea "was on the table." ®

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