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Riaz574 posts since 6 Jan 2016
This is cynical but Granada was virtually undefeatable because of Coronation Street.

Replacing Granada by North West TV would have been a bigger game changer to ITV if Granada stated that they would take Coronation Street to Sky, assuming every other incumbent wins, than losing Thames and TVS.

Could it even have wrecked ITV before 2000?
Brekkie31,151 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
I think if Corrie had gone anywhere it would have been C4 - or even the BBC - rather than Sky. Granada would have needed it to remain prominent in the TV landscape to remain a credible independent producer. They may then have still been able to get back into the network by acquiring LWT as they did - or a smaller franchise like Border.

Chances are whatever happened 25 years ago ITV would have still become ITV Plc one way or the other.
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Whataday9,842 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
I think if Corrie had gone anywhere it would have been C4 - or even the BBC - rather than Sky.


Maybe a swap with Brookside? Very Happy

It's interesting that North West Television failed on quality grounds rather than for overbidding. Particularly with Phil Redmond, Yorkshire and Tyne Tees on board. They planned to quadruple the amount of local programming so perhaps the ITC felt it was a case of quantity over quality.
Last edited by Whataday on 23 April 2018 10:01pm
Brekkie31,151 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
Going back to the early days of advertising the Channel 5 licence and you would think with the strong interest in many regions from rival bidders there may have been more movement to do that on a regional basis too. I can only think that winners of the franchise holders had some sort of guarantee of no direct regional competition.
I preferred the internet when it had a sense of humour.
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I wonder if Thames had won the orginal Ch5 licence, if all of its programmes would have switched over to it, mind you it would have needed to expanded pretty quick over the 94-96 period.
Riaz574 posts since 6 Jan 2016
I think if Corrie had gone anywhere it would have been C4 - or even the BBC - rather than Sky. Granada would have needed it to remain prominent in the TV landscape to remain a credible independent producer. They may then have still been able to get back into the network by acquiring LWT as they did - or a smaller franchise like Border.


Getting back into ITV by buying out Border was always an option on the cards for Granada if it was defeated. I wouldn't be surprised if even management from TVS gave the concept a look in. However, with a product as commercially valuable as Coronation Street then there is a dimension for revenge. Coronation Street would be just as much a game changer for Sky as it would be for ITV so it's difficult to deny that it would result in a rapid uptake of Sky by large numbers of people who wouldn't otherwise be interested - for just one programme! Combine this with some clever marketing then it's a win win situation.

Quote:
Chances are whatever happened 25 years ago ITV would have still become ITV Plc one way or the other.


Both the regional ITV channels and ITV Plc centred around Coronation Street. I used to think that the ITC had ripped the heart out of ITV when they announced that Thames had lost but now I think that the real heart of ITV is actually Coronation Street. Would Carlton have even wanted to merge with North West TV and its offerings of Brookside?
623058
Granada was never going to lose because of corrie, to many people were made very clear what would happened if it did... including stories of MP mothers making threats...

Phil bloke should have looked elsewhere to bid, making YTV or Anglia?
Mr Kite886 posts since 15 Aug 2007
Granada North West Today
I'm not cure the Sky card was a strong as some believe. It would've been a massive gamble for Granada to have taken Coronation Street to Sky. Sure, Corrie was popular but only hard core fans would've considered taking up a Sky subscription just for that one show. Even the most optimistic calculations would've surely expected a huge drop in viewing figures which could've killed the show. Remember, Thames talked of possibly taking The Bill to Sky (or the BBC) but it didn't happen. It would've been in both Granada & ITV's interests for the status quo to continue. I doubt Brookside (although popular at the time) would've moved from Channel 4 either.

Ultimately, Granada won because the ITC didn't see need for change in the area. Thames (and TV-am) lost, in part at least, because LWT/Carlton/GMTV offered a consolidation of London-based TV studios, from 4 to 1 and a more consistent local news service. Despite the Conservative Government's initial intention that the highest bidder would win no matter what, the ITC ultimately allowed who it wanted to win.
JexedBack77 posts since 15 Nov 2016
South East Today
Granada was never going to lose because of corrie, to many people were made very clear what would happened if it did... including stories of MP mothers making threats...

Phil bloke should have looked elsewhere to bid, making YTV or Anglia?


Phil Redmond was always going to bid for the North West.
I *think* he was involved in a bid against Granada in the 1980s too.
There was a big campaign about a perceived Manchester bias.
As a result that’s the reason Granada set up newsrooms/offices in Liverpool, Blackburn and Lancaster
Riaz574 posts since 6 Jan 2016
Granada was never going to lose because of corrie, to many people were made very clear what would happened if it did... including stories of MP mothers making threats...


That was a flaw with the regional ITV model. Granada had made themselves virtually undefeatable because of just one solitary programme despite much criticism of excessive Manchester bias. In effect, Granada was more valuable than Thames with its massive production factory.

The ITC should have seen this flaw and done something about it in order than Granada is not perpetually protected behind Coronation Street. One possibility would be to split production and broadcasting so that each applicant applies as both a publisher broadcaster and a producer where it's possible to win one without the other. That way Granada might have lost its position as a broadcaster for the North West region to North West TV but stayed on as an ITV producer producing Coronation Street and an odd few other programmes.

It's notable that in two franchise rounds the North West region was a straight fight between Manchester and Liverpool with no third players.
Steve Williams2,666 posts since 1 Aug 2008
It's interesting that North West Television failed on quality grounds rather than for overbidding. Particularly with Phil Redmond, Yorkshire and Tyne Tees on board. They planned to quadruple the amount of local programming so perhaps the ITC felt it was a case of quantity over quality.


Well, that does indeed to appear to be the case, they were intending to use Mersey TV to provide hundreds of hours of programmes and the ITC said that it was unrealistic to expect a fairly small company (successful though they were, they only made a single programme) with their resources to produce the amount suggested. And of course YTV and Tyne Tees were almost ruled out for overbidding anyway, so resources will have been even more stretched.

I'm not even sure the Manchester bias at Granada is that much of a deal-breaker, you can say that quite a lot of regions were dominated by the city they were based in. Sheffield always used to complain YTV was all about Leeds (and the name of the company didn't help in parts of the region) and STV was always supposed to be obsessed with Glasgow. And there was always going to be an issue with the North West franchise because the same transmitter covers both cities so they can't do sub-opts.

Could the ITC have put in a ruling that the ITV Network centre, what effectively replaced the Big 5 in 1989, had to network something like 40% of programming commissioned by the other 10 smaller ITV companies? I'm not saying produced, but commissioned by them? I also admit that it may have been hard to implement.


And really, was there any need for such a system? TVS were interested in making more programmes for the network, but I doubt many of the smaller regions were especially bothered. For many of them it would have involved huge overheads and hiring more staff, for minimal reward. In one of the IBA Yearbooks from the eighties they talk about Ulster's drama output, they say how they didn't have the resources or studio space to have a full-time drama department, but they did have a drama consultant who worked part-time and was responsible for identifying scripts that could work for two or three single dramas a year they could make on location. That's about the size of the operation there. Meanwhile the ITV network were in the market for about a dozen dramas a week.

It's obvious why the Big Five dominated ITV's schedules, they had the facilities and the resources and they were based in the big cities where all the talent was. That's not a flaw in the system, that's how it was supposed to work. People generally weren't sitting in TSW and Border wishing they were making Saturday night programmes. They were happy enough making programmes for local consumption, while also benefitting from broadcasting the programmes from other regions.
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Riaz574 posts since 6 Jan 2016
It's obvious why the Big Five dominated ITV's schedules, they had the facilities and the resources and they were based in the big cities where all the talent was. That's not a flaw in the system, that's how it was supposed to work. People generally weren't sitting in TSW and Border wishing they were making Saturday night programmes. They were happy enough making programmes for local consumption, while also benefitting from broadcasting the programmes from other regions.


Ulster and Channel might be exceptional cases because of the geography of their regions, but was the South West region too small and the Border region unviable from the outset?

Should there have been more co-operation between smaller ITV regions or even a federation of them?

Some time ago I enquired about any relationships between Ulster and STV because of cultural connections between central Scotland and Northern Ireland. They didn't have much to do with each other but was this a lost opportunity?