Ostrich Media

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Ostrich Media is a United Kingdom (UK) company, created in 2005 as a wholly owned subsidiary of 4Ventures Limited (the commercial subsidiary of the public-service commercial broadcaster Channel 4 Television Corporation).[1]

The company is currently part of UTV and has run Brain Box for both UTV and South African channel, E-TV.[2] It was also the owner of QuizCall, the UK's first dedicated quiz television channel.[3]

Sale[edit]

Following a sale in in November 2006, Ostrich Media became wholly owned by iTouch. Reports suggested the reasons for the sale included:

  • the fact that Ostrich's QuizCall channel was not performing to expectations
  • fears that the subsidiary might damage the Channel 4 brand
  • a pending investigation of participation TV by the regulator Ofcom and a desire by Channel 4 not to appear too aggressively commercial ahead of an Ofcom review into public aervice broadcasting.[4][5][6]
  • a desire by Channel 4 to free the spectrum that it occupied on Freeview for other purposes.

Consequently, whilst the sale included QuizCall's space on Sky Digital, Channel 4 retained the space the channel had used on Freeview. As a result of the loss of space, QuizCall stopped broadcasting 24-hours per day on Freeview on 15 November 2006.[3]

Following the sale, a review of the channel saw its broadcast hours reduced to accommodate an expected drop in viewers when the channel lost its 24-hour DTT space. A significant number of freelance presenters ceased working for the channel due to the reduction in broadcast time. The company was managed at the time by Director-General of Green Media LTD, Nathan Bond.

Controversy[edit]

In late November 2006, Channel 4 issued an apology after staff were revealed to have impersonated competition winners to encourage more people to call in.[7] Ostrich's Frederik Fleck then conceded before the Common's Culture, Media and Sport Committee that telephone lines may have been blocked to stop callers from getting through.[8][9]

Recent history[edit]

The QuizCall channel ceased broadcasting on Sky Digital and aired on Channel 5 until 9 September 2009.

On 31 March 2010, UTV purchased Ostrich Media to form a new division to be known as UTV Interactive.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matthews, Sam (30 June 2005), Channel 4 set to debut live quiz channel by year end, Media Week, retrieved 30 January 2012 
  2. ^ Knowler, Wendy (7 May 2008), Brain Box: Is it an illegal lottery scam?, IOL, retrieved 30 January 2012 
  3. ^ a b Holmwood, Leigh (3 November 2006), "Channel 4 prepares launch after Quiz Call sale", The Guardian, retrieved 30 January 2006 
  4. ^ Robinson, Paul (31 October 2006), "Channel 4's answer to quiz TV", The Guardian, retrieved 30 January 2012 
  5. ^ Channel 4 sells Ostrich stake in television quiz shows, Informitv, 3 November 2006 
  6. ^ Brief, Media Week, 7 November 2006, retrieved 30 January 2012 
  7. ^ Rees, Jon (20 November 2006), "Under-fire C4 to sell quiz shows", The Daily Mail 
  8. ^ Gimson, Andrew (29 November 2006), "Credulous callers and the quiz show crocodiles", The Daily Telegraph, retrieved 30 January 2012 
  9. ^ Oatts, Joanne (27 November 2006), MPs quiz broadcasters over gameshows, Digital Spy, retrieved 30 January 2012