Sky TV in Talks With HHCL/Red Cell

NEW YORK HHCL/Red Cell is negotiating with Sky TV for the client’s consolidated account, sources said. The WPP agency was already a roster shop, having pitched and won Sky Plus, a technology similar to TiVo, in February.

The London-based client is looking to consolidate the programming side of its business, now at Bates U.K., and is not holding a review, according to sources. The consolidated Sky TV account has estimated billings of $50 million.

Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann handles media chores on the account, but it could not immediately be determined if those chores are included. Sky TV is a satellite service owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which bought DirecTV in the U.S. last month. IPG’s Deutsch/LA handles creative on DirecTV.

The impending loss of Sky TV is the latest blow for Cordiant Communications Group’s Bates, which recently lost its global Allied Domecq business, worth an estimated $30 million. That work was moved to Publicis Groupe’s Publicis Worldwide earlier this week. Bates executives could not be reached for comment.

Red Cell executives could not immediately be reached for comment, nor could Sky TV.