Sale Of U.K.'s Virgin Radio May Not Include Virgin Brand
May 29, 2008 at 5:37 AM (PT)
The sale of U.K. national Rock station VIRGIN RADIO by SCOTTISH MEDIA GROUP to ABSOLUTE RADIO may not include the VIRGIN name, reports the TIMES OF LONDON, which notes that VIRGIN trademark owner Sir RICHARD BRANSON is considering relaunching VIRGIN RADIO himself.
BRANSON's licensing deal with SMG for the VIRGIN name includes the right for BRANSON to pull the brand rather than allow its use by a company that competes with one of his VIRGIN companies anywhere in the world; ABSOLUTE backer BENNETT COLEMAN owns radio stations in INDIA and the TIMES OF INDIA, while BRANSON has a joint venture with the HINDUSTAN TIMES to operate an affiliate of VIRGIN RADIO, "FEVER 104, POWERED BY VIRGIN," in DELHI, MUMBAI, BANGALORE, and KOLKATTA. The TIMES OF LONDON says that BRANSON is considering starting a new VIRGIN RADIO on digital radio with another U.K. partner.
The sale of the U.K. station was expected to be formally announced last month but has been delayed as negotiations continue over competition issues.