Tuesday, 15 June 2021
Ikea, Nivea and Grolsch join Kopparberg boycott of GB News

That is tonight's headline in the Telegraph. Lets go back 24 hours to this headline last night in City AM. GB News launched at 8pm Sunday evening. In less than 23 hours  newspapers were reporting 

GB News launch tops ratings despite technical glitches

GB News raked in bumper viewer numbers for its eagerly-awaited launch last night, eclipsing its news rivals despite a string of technical glitches. The channel, which went live last night with a special welcome programme, pulled in average viewing figures of 164,400 between 7pm and 11pm, equivalent to a 1.1 per cent share. This beat BBC News, which recorded 133,000 viewers, and was almost triple the 57,000 people who tuned into Sky News, according to data from ratings organisation BARB. Those viewers included my husband and I. 

The figures will come as a major boost to GB News, which has promised to shake up the British TV news market. Introducing the new channel, former BBC veteran Andrew Neil said it would “not be an echo chamber for the metropolitan mindset”, adding that it was “proud to be British”.

There were hiccups; the sound quality improved by the minute. Some of the sets looked inexpensive. Some of the presenters were clearly nervous, despite their experience. Neil Oliver the historian looked gorgeous and has let his beard grew. 

GB News has also become embroiled in a row with rival broadcasters over access to political footage. 

Lawyers for the channel have written to Ofcom, the culture secretary and the competition watchdog to complain that a deal with news agency Reuters to supply footage of parliament and political events has fallen through.

GB News has accused the BBC, ITV and Sky News, which cover the events under a so-called pool system, of “shutting out” their new competitor, the Telegraph reported.

The new media business ... has accused competitors of blocking its access to “pools” footage, video of public events produced by the country’s three main broadcasters.

In a letter sent to the CMA, Ofcom and the Culture Secretary, lawyers for GB News claimed that the BBC and other major broadcasters’ move could amount to “an abuse of their collective dominant position”.

GB News claims it had a deal with Reuters, the news agency, to supply footage of Parliament and political events produced by the BBC, Sky and ITN. The pooling system reduces the number of film crews needed at any event. But Mr Neil’s broadcaster alleges that the agreement has fallen apart amid pressure from incumbents, with rules for accessing the video content changed from Monday - the first full day of shows on GB News.

The Telegraph understands that GB News also wrote to Reuters, and has received a response saying that the news agency is standing by the decision to block it.

The Guardian says 

According to the TV industry magazine Broadcast, GB News peaked in its opening minutes with 336,000 viewers, meaning it outperformed the 100,000 who watched BBC News across the hour and the 46,000 who watched Sky News. Broadcast said 57% of GB News’ opening show’s audience was male, while 52% were aged 65 years or older and 82% were from the ABC1 demographic. They know this how? Anyway, technical hitches notwithstanding the support and early viewing figures have rattled the left-wing pressure group Stop Funding Hate. 

Stop Funding Hate, a social media campaign group that has gained prominence by urging advertisers to snub national newspapers promoting divisive views. .. published a list of GB News advertisers online to rally support behind its efforts to starve the channel of advertising income. Remember the BBC is funded by a license fee which every household in the UK is obliged by law to pay if they own a television. They don't need advertising revenue and their advert space between programmes is filled with propaganda instead. 

In response, Kopparberg "immediately suspended" its advertising on GB News, claiming a previous advert was used without "knowledge or consent". 

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We want to make it clear to everyone that our ad ran on this channel without our knowledge or consent. Kopparberg is a drink for everyone and we have immediately suspended our ads from this channel pending further review of its content

Nivea, Grolsh, the Open University, Ikea (awful furniture anyway, in my opinion) and Pinterst have all said they will pull their adverts. The twitter feeds and Facebook pages of Kopparberg, Grolsh and Nivea are full of comments reminding the companies that a boycott can work both ways, that the saying is Go woke - go broke, and the British people who will be watching GB News are not to be underestimated. 

A source at a GB News advertiser said brands should resist the pressure exerted by Stop Funding Hate due to the threat posed to freedom of speech.  "Those calling for an advertising boycott of the channel are playing directly into the hands of the GB News agenda - the "wokewatch" researchers can probably take the next month off," they said. "This can be a tough debate for brands, as it's so often spun as a values issue, but at its core this about freedom of speech and freedom of the press"

The viewing figures are early days of course but I will be continuing to watch. Their website, where you can watch live is here 
Available on Freeview 236, Sky HD 515, Virgin Media HD 626, YouView 236 and Freesat HD 216

Top comment at the Telegraph at time of posting,from the wonderfully named Jimi Hendrix
Wow, the left really hate a free press don't they?

Posted on 06/15/2021 12:23 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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