UK Public Broadcasting Channel 4 and Lloyds Bank have come together to launch Black in Business, an initiative aimed at boosting up to five black-owned small businesses. Each selected business will receive TV advertising minutes worth £100,000 ($123,400) along with a bespoke TV commercial designed specifically for them. The initiative also offers six months of customized marketing and business support from Channel 4, Lloyds Bank, and social enterprise DOES. The goal is to help small businesses that face obstacles in operating and are unfamiliar with TV advertising.
This effort is part of Channel 4’s Black to Front tradition, which is an ongoing effort to improve the representation of the wider Black community on screen and in the television industry. Earlier this year, a study commissioned by Channel 4’s commercial arm, 4Sales, found that black entrepreneurs launch more businesses than white entrepreneurs. Additionally, five shortlisted companies will receive the Rising Star grant worth £3,000 provided by Lloyd’s and Jamie, which is an online discovery platform for Black creators and makers that offers one-on-one consulting sessions to support their business goals.
OUTtv, a commission LGBTQ+ TV and streaming service, has set its own commission for the first time in the UK. The commission will include two series: “Rosie Runs Riot” and “Live at the Queer Comedy Club”. “Rosie Runs Riot” (6 x 15 ft) features Drag Her Queen Rosie Her Beaver hitting the sidewalks of London, making new friends, playing games, and wreaking havoc. In several episodes, guests from the London drag scene appear, including Miss Moppe, Louis Cypher, and Richard Energy. “Live at the Queer Comedy Club” (6 x 22 minutes) is a stand-up comedy series that features a selection of comedians performing live at the Queer Comedy Club in North London.
Both series will launch later this year, simultaneously on OUTtv and the UK channel Froot.tv. The Eurovision Song Contest, organized by the European Broadcasting Union, drew 162 million people across three live shows across 38 public service media markets. According to the BBC, the audience rating for the Grand Final on May 13 was 40.9%, more than double the broadcast channel average (17.4%). The host country, the United Kingdom, recorded the highest viewership in Eurovision history, with an average of 9.9 million viewers watching the Grand Final on BBC One.
This marked an increase of 12% compared to 2022 and a viewership of 63%. Sweden, the winner of Eurovision, had an average viewership of 2.3 million, which accounted for 82.3% of all television viewership in the country. Last year’s winner, Ukraine, had an audience share of 19.7%. In 13 of the 39 markets, Eurovision accounts for more than 50% of the viewing share, with Iceland leading with 98.7%, followed closely by the other Nordic markets (Norway 87.8%, Finland 85.6%, Sweden 82.3%).
Around 7.6 million people watched the Grand Finals live on YouTube, and the number of live views of the semi-finals surpassed 3.2 million. The three live shows have been viewed 4.8 million times on TikTok, Eurovision’s official entertainment partner. The 15-24 year-old audience rating for the Grand Finals was 53.5%, quadrupling the broadcast channel average (13.8%).