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Dr Who and cult cartoons in satellite TV battle (1990)

1990-08-30 Daily Telegraph.jpg

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NON-STOP Dr Who and a cult American cartoon show called The Simpsons have been chosen to spearhead a critical, multi-million pound autumn battle for viewers between Sky Television and its rival British Satellite Broadcasting.

Sky is spending £1 million promoting The Simpsons in the hope of wooing viewers planning to invest in satellite this autumn, expected to be a crucial time for both stations.

BSB is countering this weekend's launch of The Simpsons by showing 48 hours of nonstop classic episodes of Dr Who, from 1967 onwards, on its NOW arts channel.

Although both stations are battling for viewers, such programme choices reveal that BSB is aiming for a more upmarket audience. The Simpsons started life as an insert on the American Tracey Ullman Show and was so successful that it independently rose to the top of the US ratings.

Yesterday Sky announced that it is now the eighth largest commercial television station in Britain, with 1.5 million homes in Britain and Ireland — a bigger audience than Scottish Television or Tyne Tees.

BSB, which was launched 14 months later than Sky, has so far installed only 54,000 "squarials" — square aerials. More than 900,000 Sky customers have installed dishes, the rest receive it by cable, and nearly 800,000 viewers subscribe to the film channel.

Autumn is the key sales period for electronic consumer goods, like satellite equipment, with 75 per cent of all purchases being made in the run up to Christmas. BSB is spending £12 million on advertising, hoping to sell a further 400,000 squarials by the end of the year.

Although Mr Rupert Murdoch, Sky's owner, believes his own satellite venture will move into profit at the end of next year or the beginning of 1992, Sky has cost him dear.

It emerged last week that Sky was responsible for £95 million worth of News International's £2657 million losses last year.

The money being poured into the satellite war comes at a bad time for ITV, which is suffering its worst monthly drop in advertising revenue — down 20 per cent on the same month last year.

The network has already had to cancel some expensive drama productions because of the squeeze, made worse by the fact that the companies are trying to show their best quality programmes in the run-up to the renewal of their franchises.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Thynne, Jane (1990-08-30). Dr Who and cult cartoons in satellite TV battle. The Daily Telegraph p. 5.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Thynne, Jane. "Dr Who and cult cartoons in satellite TV battle." The Daily Telegraph [add city] 1990-08-30, 5. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Thynne, Jane. "Dr Who and cult cartoons in satellite TV battle." The Daily Telegraph, edition, sec., 1990-08-30
  • Turabian: Thynne, Jane. "Dr Who and cult cartoons in satellite TV battle." The Daily Telegraph, 1990-08-30, section, 5 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr Who and cult cartoons in satellite TV battle | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr_Who_and_cult_cartoons_in_satellite_TV_battle | work=The Daily Telegraph | pages=5 | date=1990-08-30 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=21 November 2017 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr Who and cult cartoons in satellite TV battle | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr_Who_and_cult_cartoons_in_satellite_TV_battle | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=21 November 2017}}</ref>