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ToasterMan (previously BeanosOnToast) 167 posts since 17 Feb 2016
Granada North West Today
Until the late 80's, both the BBC and the ITV network were seen as arch rivals for obvious reasons. However, in 1989, Granada, which would go onto become the dominant ITV franchise, was commissioned by BBC Two airing What the Papers Say from March 1990, after years of airing on the ITV network and temporarily moving to Channel 4 until 1988.

Then two years later Thames, which was loosing the London Channel 3 license to Carlton from the next year and preparing to continue as an independent production company, teamed up with BBC Enterprises and Cox Enterprises to launch UK Gold on satellite.

Granada went onto produce many more programmes for the Beeb from the mid 90's, like University Challenge and The Royle Family, and has continued to this day as ITV Studios, and since 2011, both the BBC and ITV have shared Greater Manchester broadcasting facilities at MediaCityUK in Salford, once more increasing the working relationship that sparked over thirty years ago.
Last edited by ToasterMan on 19 February 2020 5:01pm - 3 times in total
Hatton Cross3,434 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
And your point being?

Oh, and Granada didn't 'agree' to BBC Two airing What The Papers Say.

Granada were commissioned by the BBC to make that show for them as an independent producer. Big difference than a cosy 'gentlemens agreement'
Readers are warned that this post contains some flash photography
Markymark7,812 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
And your point being?

Oh, and Granada didn't 'agree' to BBC Two airing What The Papers Say.

Granada were commissioned by the BBC to make that show for them as an independent producer. Big difference than a cosy 'gentlemens agreement'


Indeed, though up until the early 80s, the BBC had a rather 'lofty' attitude towards independent TV (nearly always referring to it as 'commercial TV') which prompted the IBA to write to them. They've grown up since
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ToasterMan (previously BeanosOnToast) 167 posts since 17 Feb 2016
Granada North West Today
And your point being?

Oh, and Granada didn't 'agree' to BBC Two airing What The Papers Say.

Granada were commissioned by the BBC to make that show for them as an independent producer. Big difference than a cosy 'gentlemens agreement'

All I thought was that it warranted an interesting discussion, it's a massive reflection on how both the BBC and television have evolved since the 80's, especially with the "lofty" attitude they had to independent production companies as Mark brought up.
robertclark1251,507 posts since 13 Jan 2009
STV Central Reporting Scotland
What you have to remember is, Granada held an ITV franchise, but was also a production company. Same for Thames. It must be remembered, Granada and Thames both produced programmes for Channel 4, HTV for S4C. They were production companies, who happened to hold ITV franchises. They were free to make programmes for who they liked, even overseas.
ToasterMan (previously BeanosOnToast) 167 posts since 17 Feb 2016
Granada North West Today
What you have to remember is, Granada held an ITV franchise, but was also a production company. Same for Thames. It must be remembered, Granada and Thames both produced programmes for Channel 4, HTV for S4C. They were production companies, who happened to hold ITV franchises. They were free to make programmes for who they liked, even overseas.

But Channel 4 originally started off as a subsidiary of the IBA, (until it was spun off as a public corporation from 1993), as the franchises were producing programmes for two commercial rivals, surely that would give the BBC twice the reason not to commission anything to them?

The only one I understand is S4C, since that was created so viewers in Wales could watch the Welsh language programmes produced by the BBC and HTV after they stopped broadcasting them on their own channels.
Last edited by ToasterMan on 19 February 2020 9:24pm - 2 times in total
Neil Jones6,183 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
And your point being?

All I thought was that it warranted an interesting discussion


You may do better, if you're going to start new threads, actually posing a question for discussion, rather than just posting something blog-style and hoping somebody else opens the discussion.

Bit like if you make the mess you clear it up, so if you start the thread, you start the discussion. Pose a question, even if its just "why did this happen?".
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DVB Cornwall9,178 posts since 4 Dec 2003
Westcountry Spotlight
Some History which wraps up this matter, from someone who witnessed the circumstances.

'What the Papers Say' was an exception, the same indeed could be said for 'University Challenge' which was in the same situation. ITV as it grew more populist chose to discontinue them. The BBC, notably BBC TWO decided that they would be a good fit on the channel, so it made sense to produce them for BBC TWO. Rather than go through the loops of redesign etc. and for UC licensing from the global rights partners, it made infinite sense to buy the programmes in from Granada. That's what they did, it also at the time helped the BBC's cause in getting productions made by someone else rather than in house, as was starting to be demanded in the latter years of the Conservative administration in power at the time.
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Interceptor821 posts since 20 Oct 2014
What you have to remember is, Granada held an ITV franchise, but was also a production company. Same for Thames. It must be remembered, Granada and Thames both produced programmes for Channel 4, HTV for S4C. They were production companies, who happened to hold ITV franchises. They were free to make programmes for who they liked, even overseas.

It's not really the same thing though - as they would have also sold the advertising for those programmes in the same way as if the programmes were shown on ITV...
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Mr Kite901 posts since 15 Aug 2007
Granada North West Today
If the BBC was happy to buy, no doubt Granada were more than happy to provide the series.

The Royle Family comes to mind in the 90s also. Complete with prominent blue stripe G-arrow logo at the end of the credits.
Last edited by Mr Kite on 19 February 2020 8:19pm
ToasterMan (previously BeanosOnToast) 167 posts since 17 Feb 2016
Granada North West Today
If the BBC was happy to buy, no doubt Granada were more than happy to provide the series.

The Royal Family comes to mind in the 90s also. Complete with prominent blue stripe G-arrow logo at the end of the credits.

Compare that to the first series of What the Papers Say for BBC Two, where the G-arrow logo was nowhere to be seen...
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