None of the minor ITV companies (apart from Tyne Tees, which effectively busted themselves with the £15.5m bid and therefore had little choice but to sell up for a song in 1992) were of interest to the big companies until the two franchise rule was ended; you'd think that if there was a commercial advantage to buying these up it would have happened almost straight away as a defensive measure; Central had the same opportunity to protect itself against Carlton.
Would Tyne Tees have lost their franchise if they bid lower?
As 623058 says, much, much lower.
TT were spooked by Granada coming into the only opposition they were anticipating, that of the Newcastle Chronicle. They felt that this group was too weak and would have lost on quality grounds (the same names present in 1980 were on the new bid as well), but Granada joining the consortium changed everything. They panicked, probably realising that Granada's ability to cut costs to the bone would mean they could get away with a high bid, and bet the house on Granada doing just that. Granada broke them, there's no two ways about it.
In the end Granada bid far more sensibly, and TT were forced into a merger as they would have been bankrupt within a couple of years with the bid they submitted. This is why the ITC allowed a very early merger to go ahead (YTV weren't in a great position themselves either due to the very high bid they themselves submitted).
Anyone thinking about what happened to TVS or TSW, and what might have been had they not lost on financial quality grounds, should probably take a look at the history of the three companies (YTV, TTT, HTV) who were just the other side of the divide between 'just about OK' and 'dead in the water' to realise that they'd have had a very bad time of things had they won. TSW in particular I think would have been in a very sorry state, with no obvious suitor to take them over.
"Winner's curse", I recall it was called by journos.
Last edited by ttt on 9 December 2016 1:40am