Updated: Apr 17
We now easily accept television sponsorship in the UK but for over 50 years from when commercial television started in 1955 the television governing bodies - the IBA and then OFCOM – forbad anything that would look like sponsorship. The source of adverting income was limited to spot adverting, the commercial breaks. Was this due to Admiral - the US television manufacturer – who could be a contender for the decision?
The American comedian Sid Caesar whose later writers included the legendry talents of Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen; 'Sid was the show to which all comedy writers aspired, it was the place to be,' said Allen. Sid burst on the US national television scene in 1949 as the star of the “Admiral Broadway Revue,” a live, hour long show from New York that aired Friday nights simultaneously on NBC and the DuMont network. The “Admiral Broadway Revue” was a hit — so much so that it was cancelled after less than five months when the Admiral Corp. withdrew its sole sponsorship; it reportedly needed to use the money it had been putting into the program to build a new factory to keep up with the skyrocketing number of orders for its TV sets generated by the show. Massive television success for a program and its sponsors led to the show’s cancellation because of the triumph of the cooperation, this was the problem when a program’s only funding was
from a single sponsor.
Television sponsorship can have amazing positive connections. Many nations shadowed the UK in their development of this powerful medium, which kept for over two generations the programme making at one end of a very long corridor away from those who sold the advertising space, so one did not influence the other. Was this the root of broadcast television being the most trusted of all mediums for its audience, far outweighing newspapers and magazines. Now sponsors can share this authority, when they show their support to their customer base for the aims, ambitions and help of a channel like CCETv.