Can TV hits make money on the web?

Can TV hits make money on the web? 1A deal with production firms has allowed broadcasters to push ahead and embrace online, but will advertisers make the most of the opportunities that TV companies are opening up?

Channel 4 today (Tuesday) becomes the first major commercial broadcaster to begin simulcasting all programmes it commissions on the web.

Its move comes as Andy Duncan, chief executive of C4, urges public service broadcasters to boldly go into the ‘chaotic, anarchic and frightening’ world of new digital platforms: broadband TV, video-on-demand (VOD) and mobile.

The broadcaster’s decision, which sees TV advertisers handed free ‘airtime’ on the web and registered viewers, free content, follows an agreement on the issue of new media rights between C4, ITV and the BBC and the production companies’ body Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact).

According to John McVay, chief executive of Pact, C4 and the other commercial terrestrial broadcasters adopted a less evangelical tone in five months of hard-fought negotiations.