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Multichannel operators overtake Channel 4 advertising revenues

LONDON – Multichannel television channels are continuing to gain on the five main channels, with their combined advertising revenues exceeding Channel 4's for the first time.

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The figures were published today by media regulator Ofcom, as part of its Communications Market Report covering recent developments in the television and radio sectors.

Among its observations is the fact that digital channels' combined revenues were greater than Channel 4's in the second quarter of the year.

It also noted that 30% of all TV viewing was to multichannel services in June 2005, while its most recent figures for Freeview penetration indicate it has reached more than 5m households. Direct consumer spending now accounts for more than 60% of all TV industry revenues, against adspend at less than 40%.

In radio, Ofcom pointed to the new low of 33.9% audience share for local commercial radio in the first quarter. It also noted that Emap's acquisition of Scottish Radio Holdings would mean the creation of the second largest commercial radio group in the UK by number of stations, and would bolster Emap's position as the second-largest group after GCap by listening hours.

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