What the papers say: Estimates mount at Millionaire sale

Expect a scrum at this week’s Cannes TV festival as executives fight over the worldwide rights to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, created by Ulsterman Paul Smith and co-owned by comedian Jasper Carrott.

Credited with 'transforming the fortunes of ITV within months of its launch' (Daily Express, 31 March), the global phenomenon spawned a host of successful format shows that have been sold around the world.

Still popular in more than 100 countries including India and Tunisia, Millionaire has recently 'lost lustre in both the UK and US' (The Times, 31 March). The sale is the first time an entire TV 'format' – with all the show's back catalogue and commercial tie-ins – has been staged. The Daily Mirror gave the lowest estimate of sale value at £40m, with The Times giving the highest figure at around the £150m mark.

Consensus appeared to be around £50m, more than the £45m given to UK winners  since 1998 and plenty enough for Smith to 'allow himself more leisure time' (various sources) and 'buy a boat in the south of France' (The Times, 31 March).

If he is quick, Smith could probably find mooring space in Cannes this week.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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