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RIBA set to sign '£5 million' ITV deal for Stirling Prize

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uk architecture's top award ceremony, the riba Awards, is set to be televised this year in a deal which could deliver the industry £5 million in free marketing coverage.

Organisers are in talks with tv executives at an unnamed itv company over the production of two and a half hours of network tv coverage. The glittering black-tie event includes the Stirling Prize which was last year won by Future Systems. Coverage is likely to be preceded by a number of 'taster' shows which will publicise the shortlist.

The move aims to boost the profile of architecture and riba director of communications Roula Konzotis said that the programmes will deliver the institute £5 million worth of marketing coverage, free of charge. The figure stems from the estimated marketing value of the 23 minutes in each half hour of TV coverage which is not advertising. The value of the coverage dwarfs the £900,000 which will be needed for the delivery of the riba's new communication strategy.

This year the awards will depart from their original category-based format, which for the last four years has seen gongs handed out to buildings on the basis of use. Now the awards categories will be looser, according to a riba spokesman.

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