RTL ups C5 budget

Brit terrestrial nears break-even

LONDON — Channel 5 parent RTL will boost the terrestrial’s budget by £9 million ($14 million) next year to a total of $246 million.

News of the increase comes as ITV, the U.K.’s biggest commercial web, is understood to be trying to poach C5 chief exec Dawn Airey, something RTL is keen to avoid.

Meanwhile, C5’s sales were up 15.2% to $119 million in the first six months of 2002, bringing the five-year-old channel to roughly $3 million short of breaking even.

C5’s share of the U.K. advertising market for the period was 7.3%, up from 6.1% the previous year.

RTL owns 65% of C5, with the remainder held by United Business Media.