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Was franchising the only option

NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Reading some of the posts about the signal switching between TV-AM and the regions in the 80's and 90's hads in my mind raised the question about the actual franchising of the breakfast licence.

Put simply did the IBA have the option of creating a breakfast programme a'la the modern Good Morning Britain and Daybreak or was franchising the only choice?

I know that the politics of the time would have played a role so could the IBA have offered a "sweetener" to ITN, Thames and LWT to provide facilities, staff etc and ensure that the regions have local inserts?

This question has probably been asked before but I've never seen any threads neither has any research I've done clarified the issue.
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Last edited by Ne1L C on 3 July 2020 12:13pm
SW
Steve Williams
RPut simply did the IBA have the option of creating a breakfast programme a'la the modern Good Morning Britain and Daybreak or was franchising the only choice?

I know that the politics of the time would have played a role so could the IBA have offered a "sweetener" to ITN, Thames and LWT to provide facilities, staff etc and ensure that the regions have local inserts?

This question has probably been asked before but I've never seen any threads neither has any research I've done clarified the issue.
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There was certainly the opportunity to just do breakfast TV as a programme on ITV made by one of the existing companies, and of course before TVam most regions were regularly starting up before 9.25 (and there was Good Morning Calendar, of course).

But as Morning Glory points out, the main reason they did a separate breakfast franchise was to provide the opportunity for more competition in the network and greater plurality of news coverage. It was no surprise Peter Jay was involved because, alongside John Birt, he'd written a series of articles in the 70s about the future of TV news, the "mission to explain" and all that, and at the time there was a great deal of discussion about television news and how it should work, it became a bit of a talking point in the industry. So when the franchise round came round, a new national franchise at breakfast time offered more opportunities for a major new company to get involved, with a new news service and the chance to do things on a national scale. Which you wouldn't have got if it was just another programme on ITV with ITN doing the news, it would just be more of the same.

In addition, of course, a new franchise would stop endless fighting among the regions regarding who should make it and if they could opt out of it, and whether ITN should do the news and so on. However in the 1991 round, a couple of regions in their submissions did suggest that the breakfast franchise was a waste of time and they should broadcast for 24 hours a day.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
RPut simply did the IBA have the option of creating a breakfast programme a'la the modern Good Morning Britain and Daybreak or was franchising the only choice?

I know that the politics of the time would have played a role so could the IBA have offered a "sweetener" to ITN, Thames and LWT to provide facilities, staff etc and ensure that the regions have local inserts?

This question has probably been asked before but I've never seen any threads neither has any research I've done clarified the issue.
.


There was certainly the opportunity to just do breakfast TV as a programme on ITV made by one of the existing companies, and of course before TVam most regions were regularly starting up before 9.25 (and there was Good Morning Calendar, of course).

But as Morning Glory points out, the main reason they did a separate breakfast franchise was to provide the opportunity for more competition in the network and greater plurality of news coverage. It was no surprise Peter Jay was involved because, alongside John Birt, he'd written a series of articles in the 70s about the future of TV news, the "mission to explain" and all that, and at the time there was a great deal of discussion about television news and how it should work, it became a bit of a talking point in the industry. So when the franchise round came round, a new national franchise at breakfast time offered more opportunities for a major new company to get involved, with a new news service and the chance to do things on a national scale. Which you wouldn't have got if it was just another programme on ITV with ITN doing the news, it would just be more of the same.

In addition, of course, a new franchise would stop endless fighting among the regions regarding who should make it and if they could opt out of it, and whether ITN should do the news and so on. However in the 1991 round, a couple of regions in their submissions did suggest that the breakfast franchise was a waste of time and they should broadcast for 24 hours a day.


Well considering the quality of TV-AM News up to Sky News taking it over in 1991 that in retrospect was a letdown.
RI
Riaz
Reading some of the posts about the signal switching between TV-AM and the regions in the 80's and 90's hads in my mind raised the question about the actual franchising of the breakfast licence.

Put simply did the IBA have the option of creating a breakfast programme a'la the modern Good Morning Britain and Daybreak or was franchising the only choice?

I know that the politics of the time would have played a role so could the IBA have offered a "sweetener" to ITN, Thames and LWT to provide facilities, staff etc and ensure that the regions have local inserts?

This question has probably been asked before but I've never seen any threads neither has any research I've done clarified the issue.
.


That is a good question.

Factoring out ITN and Oracle, TV-AM was a national ITV company independent of the regional ITV companies. If a regional ITV company had been tasked with providing the breakfast time service then it (or the IBA) could be accused of favouritism and effectively turning a regional ITV company into a national ITV company.

The alternative would have been to enable regional ITV companies to offer the breakfast time service instead but were they all in a position to do this? What would Border have offered their viewers for breakfast?!

Should the breakfast franchise have been offered in the 1991 franchise round or should regional franchises have been 24 hours instead?
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
I think they didn't want to put the financial burden on the ITV companies either with broadcasting at unproven time of day, which as shown by the near collapse of TV-am within weeks probably vindicated that.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Plurality of news is often quoted and there is some rational to that, but also worth remembering that wasn't a requirement of launching Channel 4, although that was in many ways considered an "ITV2", whilst a strand on ITV itself was considered a competitor to the local franchises.
Stay Local. Stay Safe. Stay Alive.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Plurality of news is often quoted and there is some rational to that, but also worth remembering that wasn't a requirement of launching Channel 4, although that was in many ways considered an "ITV2", whilst a strand on ITV itself was considered a competitor to the local franchises.


Can I just get something straight. Were you saying that ITN was a competitor to the local news setups such as YTV? Or have I got confused.
ST
Stuart West Country (West) Spotlight
Can I just get something straight. Were you saying that ITN was a competitor to the local news setups such as YTV? Or have I got confused.

No, I don't think they were initially seen as any competitor to regional ITV news operations, as until the 1980s they all had to contribute funds to maintain ITN.

I believe at first ITN was owned by the original 4 ITV companies, but later by the ITCA (Independent Television Companies Association), so they all had a stake in it. I could be wrong though.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
You've got confused.
Stay Local. Stay Safe. Stay Alive.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Can I just get something straight. Were you saying that ITN was a competitor to the local news setups such as YTV? Or have I got confused.

No, I don't think they were initially seen as any competitor to regional ITV news operations, as until the 1980s they all had to contribute funds to maintain ITN.

I believe at first ITN was owned by the original 4 ITV companies, but later by the ITCA (Independent Television Companies Association), so they all had a stake in it. I could be wrong though.


You've got confused.


I thought so Embarassed i was thinking why would a national and international news contractor be a threat to a local news setup.

Anyway back to the thread. Had the IBA decided on a national programme what kind of opposition would the regions have put up?
Last edited by Ne1L C on 3 July 2020 2:50pm
TJ
TedJrr Anglia (East) Look East
If I recall history correctly?

The IBA had discussed the idea of breakfast TV with the ITV programme contractors, at least as far as feasibility. The feeling was that the ITV contractors, at least the big five, wanted nothing to do with breakfast TV largely because of the cost if it had been cast out of the pre-existing labour agreements.

Could the IBA have stayed firm, and insisted that the franchise awards came with 24/7 commitments? They didn't, perhaps because they could see the lie of the land.

If things had happened differently, ITV breakfast might have been an ITCA collaboration, with inserts from multiple ITV contractors (rather like World of Sport) as well as ITN and regional companies' own ads and news segments. Whereupon lies the problem, news and spots across 15 regions is a lot of manning. TV-am stepped outside the existing arrangments, and only had play-out in London and Manchester.
Last edited by TedJrr on 3 July 2020 3:26pm
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
If I recall history correctly?

The IBA had discussed the idea of breakfast TV with the ITV programme contractors, at least as far as feasibility. The feeling was that the ITV contractors, at least the big five, wanted nothing to do with breakfast TV largely because of the cost if it had been cast out of the pre-existing labour agreements.

Could the IBA have stayed firm, and insisted that the franchise awards came with 24/7 commitments? They didn't, perhaps because they could see the lie of the land.


Plus it wasn't until 1986 that through the night tv started so the unions would have baulked at the demands.

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