It was all down to money. A large station would make enough money out of advertising through the night to cover the costs of programming and manning the transmission department for those extra six hours, and make a profit.
The smaller stations wouldn't, and had to be dragged kicking and screaming in some cases to start offering services.
If it's going to lose money and provides no licence fulfilment, why bother?
Most of the companies who did take other contractors' services (mainly Granada) ended up inserting adverts until some sort of break-even point was met (usually 2 or 3am) and then either put out PIFs or just let things run out without adverts until 6am.
Bear in mind that a couple of the very small companies (notably Border and Ulster) had, for many years closed just after 11pm (where even the mid-sized companies were closing at nearly 1am), and indeed weren't opening until 10 or 11am on some days either, well into the 1980s.
The whole ITV network effectively doesn't bother any more, for similar reasons.
Last edited by Coronavision on 21 May 2020 11:08pm
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