ITC to identify Channel 5 winner

Design will be in demand to create the new logo, on-screen identities and other graphics for the winning bid to operate Channel 5, the UK’s newest terrestrial television station.

The Independent Television Commission was due to award the licence to one of four bidders today (Thursday).

In the running are bids under the working titles of Channel 5 Broadcasting, Virgin TV, UKTV and New Century Television. All four consortia are planning to develop or completely change their identities if their bid is successful.

UKTV, the consortium headed by Canadian broadcaster CanWest, placed the highest bid at 36m and is tipped to win the new licence. UKTV’s current logo was created by media consultancy MCM, with designer Alan Nichols.

Virgin UK’s working logo and documentation design was created in-house in conjunction with Tim Epps of The Epps Partnership. “No one would use the names being used at the moment,” says a Virgin spokesman of the other consortia.

“The consortium partners [of Virgin UK] are very keen to do a lot of deep research to ascertain what the best cultural style and association is for the new channel. It is an opportunity to create something new for British TV,” the Virgin spokesman adds.

Sky Television’s bid, New Century Television, has a working logo designed by BDG/McColl, while Metier in London designed the Channel 5 Broadcasting identity. A spokesman for Pearson Television, which heads that consortium, expects the identity to become “radically different” if the consortium is successful.

If the licence is not granted this month, the bids will be reassessed at the ITC’s next board meeting scheduled for late November. A decision must be made by 30 November.

The new operator is due to be on air by 1 January 1997.

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