It was once a novelty, so much so it had its own branding and programmes. Nowadays, so many channels run for 24 hours, it's not special anymore. To echo previous posts, there's no money in it. That's why it was invented in the first place, because the suits reckoned where was money to be made from an audience who had nothing to watch once all the channels had closed down.
I'm not sure there ever was money in it.
The reason ITV had branding for it was mainly due to cross-regional presentation. Several companies were not bothered with it, the aforementioned Granada as well as Tyne Tees among other smaller companies who brought it in on a trial basis, and were ready to pull the plug. It was only the threat of a national night franchise that bounced some companies into action. TTT remained sceptical and stopped selling advertising after 2am within a couple of years, effectively just leaving the station unmanned after this time (NT fell off the air completely on at least one occasion and nothing was done about it until around an hour later).
If said nighttime franchise came to fruition though, why would the regions want to prevent that from happening if there was no money to be made?
It was a land-grab as far as they were concerned.
There was money to be made in the earlier part of the night, which is where any new franchise would be wanting to make their money also. Many ITV companies had started to broadcast up to 2 or 3 in the morning -- larger stations were just about profitable to 3am, smaller ones would have an earlier cut-off point.
If the IBA decided to start the franchise at, say, 12am (not an unreasonable time to start) then the regional companies would lose an hour or two of profitable advertising time.
But the rest of the night was a desert for advertising. Then as now.
Hence the like of TTT just effectively closing down at 2am and leaving the NT stream running. TTT had been quite vocal on the subject during 1987; when they started running JobFinder overnight they stated that they had no plans to introduce a night time service, and in 1988 when Night Time did start they went on record as saying it would be canned if unprofitable after 6 months.
Last edited by ttt on 24 July 2017 10:27pm