Yes - the IBA franchises were advertised that way - but companies surely were not blind to wider opportunities?
Too right. From a vantage point of the late 1980s it was almost impossible to predict how things would turn out with individual regional ITV companies once satellite and cable became sufficiently mainstream. All that could be determined with confidence is that some ITV companies would see satellite and cable as an opportunity more than a threat. For example, Thames could establish a cable channel in London primarily to broadcast at weekends as well as an outlet for programmes from their back catalogue. Ditto for LWT on weekdays. Other ITV companies could launch satellite channels either on their own or in conjunction with other producers and TV companies.
If individual ITV companies operate additional satellite or cable channels then it raises questions about the degree of regulation that applies to them in comparison with their terrestrial analogue channel. Should they be treated in exactly the same way as some small obscure satellite channel or should they be subject to additional terms and conditions? Would having channels by both Thames and LWT available 24/7 on cable make a mockery of the weekday weekend split in London? What about if an ITV company establishes its own breakfast TV channel to compete directly with the ITV breakfast franchise? What if the ITV breakfast franchise decides to establish a channel to broadcast 24 hours? Should there be any policies relating to duplicating networked programmes on additional channels? If future franchise rounds are held then should they strictly apply only to Channel 3 or should additional satellite and cable channels also be included to a certain extent?
These scenarios don't appear to have been given too much consideration by the government when formulating the 1990 Broadcasting Act.