P&O Cruises to sponsor award-winning Downton Abbey

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P&O Cruises will be the new sponsor of the third series of the nation’s most popular drama, Downton Abbey.

Idents (short films) featuring P&O Cruises will be shown at the beginning of each episode and either side of commercial breaks. They will be filmed on a P&O Cruises holiday and will show different aspects of the holiday that newcomers particularly enjoy. Viewers will be encouraged to look on the P&O Cruises website for further insight into the range of holidays available and to have the opportunity to win a cruise. The fully integrated sponsorship package will include broadcast, online and mobile elements as well as social media.

P&O Cruises managing director Carol Marlow said: “We are delighted to sponsor such a celebrated programme as Downton Abbey. We know that many of our passengers and potential passengers watch Downton Abbey and we are excited to bring P&O Cruises to life for this vast audience.”

The most recent series of Downton Abbey averaged 11.8 million viewers and a 38% share of the audience, peaking with 12.4 million viewers and a 41% share of the audience on 6th November 2011. Downton Abbey’s Christmas special was also rated as the most-watched Christmas Day show, achieving a consolidated audience of 11.6 million viewers.

ITV Account Sales Manager, Mike Barrett said: "Downton Abbey was the most watched drama of 2011 and has achieved a fantastic 16 nominations for the upcoming Emmy awards. It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce that P&O Cruises will be the new sponsor of this drama phenomenon, and we look forward to working with them to deliver an engaging multi-platform partnership for the coming series." For more information on this, please visit the P&O Cruises website.

ENDS

About P&O Cruises
P&O Cruises can trace its roots back to 1837 and 2012 marks the 175th anniversary of when the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company was awarded the lucrative Admiralty contract to carry mail to the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. Not long afterwards the concept of cruising was born and since then has evolved into a popular holiday choice. Today, as trusted cruise experts, P&O Cruises has a fleet of seven ships offering holidays tailored to British tastes combining genuine service, a sense of occasion and attention to detail, ensuring passengers have the holiday of a lifetime, every time. On July 3, 2012, P&O Cruises celebrated its 175th year of heritage with The Grand Event, seeing all seven ships berthed in Southampton for the first time. Ushering in an exciting new era for P&O Cruises, a new 141,000 ton as yet unnamed ship will be added to the fleet in spring 2015.

For further enquiries please contact:
Michele Andjel, michele(dot)andjel(at)pocruises(dot)com 023 8065 6653 / 07730 732 072
Kate Rist, kate(dot)rist(at)pocruises(dot)com 023 8065 6652 / 07730 732 065
Caroline Cook, caroline(dot)cook(at)itv(dot)com 0207 157 3709
Charlotte Partleton, charlotte(dot)partleton(at)itv(dot)com 0207 157 3056

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Mike Fawcett
P&O Cruises
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