Business Plan Essay

Business Essay Summary

Go into any High Street bookshop and one cannot help but notice the increasing amount of shelf-space given over to the fast growing “mind, body and spirit” sector. Clearly people all over the world have a thirst and desire for knowledge about self-fulfilment, spirituality and well-being and yet there is no dedicated television channel that explores these topics in depth and addresses this burgeoning audience.

The Awesome TV Channel aims to change all that by broadcasting a new kind of uplifting, positive, and informative programming that is in tune with the global shifts in consciousness. But this doesn’t mean the schedule will be filled with impenetrable discussions and rarefied documentaries, as the channel will always strive to be inclusive without “dumbing down” or patronising its audience.

The channel will broadcast programmes and deal with topics that terrestrial television won’t transmit as it continues its obsession with “make-overs” and “reality” television. Instead we aim to foster the new and experimental in television, to encourage pluralism, provide a favoured place for the untried and encourage innovation in style content perspective and talent on and off screen.

Bookshop - The Business Idea

This proposal is to create a dedicated, high quality digital satellite television shopping channel called The Awesome TV Channel “AC,” which is the working title for the project. Its clear purpose is to deliver the first ever full television programming centred on the mind, body and spirit themes as well as taking on issues that cover the environment and the way society co-exists. The Company sees a clear opportunity to launch such a channel firstly in the United Kingdom on the BSKyB platform and then expand into Europe. The brand values and positioning have been expressed in the product positioning part of this plan. It is proposed that the channel will run 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. This plan gives the full top-level financial details, as well as the product positioning, developmental and operational plans for the successful creation of the channel. It is planned to launch on the BSkyB digital platform during the first quarter of 2006.

The channel wants to set new agendas and one of the cornerstones of the schedule will be the “Nightly News”. But rather than focus on the traditional fare of wars, disasters, murders and politics, the channel will feature an eclectic mix of stories such as the activities of NGOs and charities or Médecins Sans Frontières’ fight against Chegas disease in Nicaragua. We will also make issues such as how the large pharmaceutical companies are trying to use their patronage by getting legislation drafted outlawing herbal remedies front page news instead of lost in oblivion.

The channel will also feature a series of landmark interviews and discussions with high profile thinkers, gurus, and scientists such as Uri Geller. In addition there will be master classes by therapists, healers and herbalists and insightful documentaries that might explore new religions and faiths.

In short Awesome TV will bring new and challenging programmes to an audience tired of the same old diet, an audience that wants to embrace the new consciousness of the 21st Century. The company will ensure that the channel complies to the OFCOM code of practice through holistic programming allowing viewers to watch entertaining, informative and factual programming.

Television programmes will be hosted by a carefully selected team of presenters, some well-known faces with a passion for the subject matter as well as some talented and enthusiastic new faces. Presenters will be freelance and will be supported by the small in-house production team. We see the studios being centred in London where there is a range of presenter talent, goods, services, the main stores and first class technical support services.

The Awesome Channel will be given a strong, authentic and professional look by virtue of taking advantage of the technological advances that have been made with the establishment of virtual reality studios and the ability to quickly create new looks and styles to compliment the on screen presentation. No graphics or style have yet been created. The technical operation and play out facilities will allow for true dynamic remote scheduling of the service.

Market Analysis and Marketing Plan

The channel will have direct access to the 7.5 million multi-channel television market in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as have the opportunity in accessing the television markets throughout Western and Eastern Europe from the same satellite.

No other channel provides programming exclusively about this sector of the market which can be strongly commercialised, act as an information and promotional tool, yet be interesting and entertaining. The channel will appreciate the need to give a greater quality range of information that will entertain at the same time, as well as give viewers information in an accessible form. The company has taken into consideration the competitive environment and believes there is a strong opportunity for such a product to establish itself and grow especially as it is a unique idea at present.

Additionally, a new survey suggests that digital television penetration in Europe will grow some two and a half times over the next five years. ‘Screen Digest’ (a UK based television research company) says the UK (and Ireland) will continue to do well, with digital TV penetration hitting 90+% in Britain and just a few points less in the Republic of Ireland.

In terms of growth, the number of TV households in the UK is forecast to increase to some 25 million by the end of 2006, with a further increase anticipated to between 25.5 million and 26 million by the end of 2010. (MBD Research 2003/Forrester Research 2002). We are seeing a gradual expansion of advertising and sponsorship revenues, as well as viewership.

According to a research by the ITC (now OfCom), in 2001 some 35% of the UK households had two TV sets, with a further 24% owning three television sets. Some 18% of households already have four or more sets in the home, while only 24% now have a lone TV set. So there is an increasing trend within households to segment viewing to suit different tastes and ages to a greater degree and the ITC research sees this trend continuing to virtually erode the lone TV set in the home by 2010.The total number of subscription TV homes in the United Kingdom is expected to reach between 12.4 million and 15.9 million by the end of 2006. This accounts for 49% to 63% of all UK TV households. Conversely, the number of subscribers to Cable TV is forecast to reach between 4.5 million and 5.4 million by 2006, with the number of DTH subscriptions between 7 million and 7.4 million in that year and satellite always out performing cable in the UK.

During 2002, pay-TV subscription revenues accounted for some 50% of the total market value, but this is anticipated to be reduced during the forecast period to some 46% by 2006 as the advertising market begins to slowly recover.

The other commercial free-to-air channels are expected to retain their share relatively unchanged, although a small increase to some 8% of the total in the share of Channel 5 is forecast by the end of 2006. The pay-TV share of the total net advertising revenues is anticipated to reach some 18% by 2006.

The Digital television marketplace is growing. The main digital platform - BSkyB - continues to grow in terms of household penetration, please see the numbers below.

BSKYB - THE NUMBERS

Q3 2005
as at
31/03/05 Prior quarter
Q2 2005
as at
31/12/04 Prior year
Q3 2004
as at 31/03/04 Opening
Q4 2004
as at
30/06/04

DTH homes 7,704,000 7,609,000 7,274,000 7,355,000

Total TV homes in the UK and Ireland 26,273,000 26,249,000 26,010,000 26,066,000

DTH homes as % of total UK+Ireland TVHH 29% 29% 28% 28%

Cable - UK 3,277,000 3,292,000 3,302,000 3,321,000
Cable - Ireland 584,000 584,000 575,000 574,000
Total Sky pay homes 11,565,000 11,485,000 11,151,000 11,250,000
Total Sky pay homes as % of total UK+Ireland TV homes 44% 44% 43% 43%

Sky+ homes 770,000 642,000 322,000 397,000

Multiroom homes 563,000 473,000 270,000 293,000

DTT - UK 4,674,000 4,216,000 2,695,000 3,084,000
Data: BSkyB quarterly report

Marketing of the Channel

The development of the positioning of the channel is on-going and is to be furthered by our multifaceted marketing plan. The Awesome Channel aims to change all that by broadcasting a new kind of uplifting, positive, and informative programming that is in tune with the global shifts in consciousness. The channel will also seek out exciting new movies that win audiences and critical acclaim at international film festivals and yet, without the backing of a media group, fail to be picked up for television distribution.

The marketing of the service will be all important. At this stage it is not possible to write definitive plans, but part of the marketing challenge will be to rigorously protect the ‘brand’ and ensure the quality of products offered for viewership is of top quality.

The strength of the marketing is in its uniqueness whereby consumers will be constantly reminded of the brand and its values and availability. We would build the web site initially to create both product awareness and a viewing community. Pre-marketing will take the form of aligning the brand with recognised organizations and some product lines. There is also an intention to work closely with SMS providers who can also target specific socio-demographic and consumer / lifestyle groups in order to drive additional revenues, interaction and eventually viewership.

Briefly, our outlets for attracting new consumers and viewers are:
Advertising on other channels (joint or paid for)
National Press and targeted press
Newspaper sections and TV Guides
Own web site
Encompass other web communities that are linked to the audience

Later the second stage of the marketing plan will involve heavy use of publicity initiatives, Club membership with regular buyer points or discounts, Co-operative marketing with vendors, SMS and other related on-line services such as having the channel streamed over the web.

Human Resource Plan

The company will tightly control the editorial content and positioning of the channel in line with its brand and market position. It also plans to harness technology to maximise all revenue opportunities and outsource all operations to restrict liabilities as far as it can.
The organisational structure is the skeleton upon which the success and operations of the organisation rely and they define the general shape and facilitate or constrain certain activities. The Awareness Channel operates a Matrix Structure which incorporates a combination of structures that often takes the form of production divisions and operational divisions functioning in tandem. This style of structure has been adopted due to the multifaceted operations the organisation must oversee. This type of structure has been proven to improve the quality of decision-making in risky situations of vital interest because it encourages a more level structure which invokes more discourse between individuals and removes barriers and bureaucratic processes. The executive organisational branch as detailed in the subsequent chart is the leading arm of the organisation as it is already fully operational and establishing the groundwork upon which the production team will operate. Our Executive Board already collaborate across the matrix to the Production Team in order to avoid ambiguity and to gather as much input as possible. This will be critical during production time, as both divisions will be working very closely together to insure the profitability of this venture. During postproduction, these divisions will work alongside the Strategy Team, Development Team and Sponsorship divisions.

The existing management team have all the creative key skills necessary to effectively manage the core business, this covers editing, creative and pre-production and accountancy skills. Here is the proposed structure:

Organisational Chart for The Awesome Channel

Financial Outline

The financial summary of Awesome Digital for the period 2005 to December 2010 includes projected cash inflows and outflows and projected profit and loss details. A projected balance sheet has also been provided. The company have compiled these figures, whilst the figures are illustrative, the board believes that the figures are realistic and achievable and the Company has sought to keep both the revenue projections realistic as well as costs to the minimum needed to operate the service. The Company is looking for a total cash flow investment of £6m (pounds) in order to fund the company in its first three years of operation in cash flow terms and it has been deduced that profit will only amass in year three. Costs stay fairly static over the period and many of these have been capped. Below is a summary of the revenues and main costs as well as top line cash flow requirements.

Source: ChinaStones - http://china-stones.info/free-essays/business/tv-channel-business-plan.php



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