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Should (and could) ITV regionalise again?

Should, and could, ITV create a more localised, but national service, be reinstated?

BL
Blewbatt Granada North West Today
We all know, that 18 years ago, ITV PLC was created, via a merger of Granada and Carlton Television. It merged all of England's Channel 3 franchises, before purchasing Channel Television and UTV from their respective owners. As of 2020, most of Channel 3 is owned by ITV plc.

As of 2020, ITV uses one brand name for all its regions (with exceptions for 2 of the 4 home nations). However, is this something that people would want to be changed? Can ITV, instead of using a national identity, reinstate its regional identities? I personally think it could have merit.

If I were in charge of ITV, I would do the following:

1. Make ITV regions be regions again. Have Yorkshire be promoted as Yorkshire. Have Central be promoted as Central. London might be a harder one, as Thames Television is owned by Fremantle, and Carlton wouldn't be a popular name. LWT wouldn't make sense.

2. Rename ITV's in house production teams to ITV regions, and have them make programmes for ITV. Have, say, Shiver Entertainment renamed to Tyne-Tees, or Potato as Granada. Maybe even move them based in their region. You could still have the ITV Studios branding for flagship programmes, but have others with the regional names.

3. Give each region a set of idents, with their own logo, and their own continuity. Make them generic if you must, but it would be good.

What do you guys think?
Television from the Liver and Onions.
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JO
Jonwo
It doesn't make sense for ITV to be regionalised as the company is a global operation. IMO, ITV becoming what is it today is what has put it in good steed in the current climate, going back to what it was isn't going to work anymore.
FB
FBC London London
They have invested a lot in the ITV brand over the last two decades and suddenly referring to the channel by a different name would definitely be harmful from a commercial point of of view (and would confuse a whole lot of viewers to whom these ’new’ regional names would either be a distant memory or even completely new.) Especially as broadcasting is rapidly moving from lineair to on-demand it makes sense for them to have one brand to focus on. (They’re hardly going to introduce regional brands for their on-demand service, are they now?)
JO
Jonwo
FBC posted:
They have invested a lot in the ITV brand over the last two decades and suddenly referring to the channel by a different name would definitely be harmful from a commercial point of of view (and would confuse a whole lot of viewers to whom these ’new’ regional names would either be a distant memory or even completely new.) Especially as broadcasting is rapidly moving from lineair to on-demand it makes sense for them to have one brand to focus on. (They’re hardly going to introduce regional brands for their on-demand service, are they now?)


It doesn't make renaming the production companies either.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
There are many of us on this forum who have warm and fond memories of the old regional ITV system. I'm one of them. It wasn't just the logos or music or even the programmes that made the impact, it was the feeling that we as viewers were special because we were watching a programme that was for us, that was made for us. Whether it was Calendar or The 6'O Clock Show we were made to feel that the regional companies cared about us. We should cherish those memories

Now for the harsh truth.If you were to ask me what the turning point was that led to the ITV we have in 2020 I would say it wasn't the 1990 Broadcasting Act in itself (although it played a major part).

It was slightly before then. In 1989 when Sky launched it showed that there was another way of broadcasting in this country. Thematic "national" stations such as Sky Channel and Sky Movies (and briefly BSB in 1992) opened the door for the big American companies to start to make inroads into the UK.

The truth is this. There is no way at all that the old regional ITV could exist in 2020. You would have the likes of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the rest, huge multinational giants against the fragmented, localised ITV. It would be a massacre

ITV had to change to survive and it may rankle some of you but merger was the only viable way. There may have been different ideas as regards keeping some regional content beyond the news (Thank You Michael Grade!) but the ITV we have now is a global player. Programmes such as The X factor, Downton Abbey, Broadchurch etc are known throughout the world and have proven to be both critical and commercial successes. ITV may have been a television service but it was first and foremost a business and the primary aim of a business is to make profits. Nothing stays the same forever and that includes ITV.
CO
Coronavision
No, the old regional system is dead, and has been for a very long time now.

I would like to see a few regional series created and placed in prime-time, but that's about as far as it's ever realistically likely to go, and even then it would be a box ticking exercise. The days of having a local broadcaster that's a station in its own right are never coming back.
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Can't disagree with much that's been written here. A half hearted effort playing out locally branded idents would probably be worse than not doing it because it creates expectations. There still wouldn't be the ability to react on a local basis. No opportunity to drop a couple of trails to slip in a local newsflash or have the Continuity Announcer reference the local severe weather.

On production companies, I wouldn't mind Emmerdale being credited to ITV Studios Yorkshire and Corrie to ITV Studios Granada etc.

Additional regional productions would certainly be welcome.

It though perhaps worth mentioning that other countries do still have something similar to the old ITV set up. The American networks and affiliates model is arguably a variation on the same.
Write that down in your copybook now.
IS
Inspector Sands


It though perhaps worth mentioning that other countries do still have something similar to the old ITV set up. The American networks and affiliates model is arguably a variation on the same.

The American model isn't similar to the old ITV one at all - it's not a federation and the stations don't contribute programmes to the network.

Its more a franchise model - like a local convenience store which uses the national brand and products from that (network programmes) , but supplements it with bread and milk from local suppliers (local news) and other products (syndicated programmes)

The models in the Netherlands and Germany are more similar
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KU
Kunst World News
Countries like Germany, Italy, France and Spain have nothing to be fair of the old ITV commercial system..

Commercial channels like TF1 and RTL have never been too local like ITV

The Das Dritte ARD channels are similar in concept (but not exactly alike either), but they're not commercial operations

A merger of ITV companies, given the commercial nature, was always going to happen (a move similar to the 1990 act was inevitable), while facing a multichannel world in particular.
KU
Kunst World News
And I realise ITV is also a public broadcaster, but its intrinsic nature is commercial

I think Britain would be better off with a new company à la Das Dritte (or the autonomous channels of Spain) ARD, owned by semi-public semi-commercial companies, with a public remit and on LCN 6, instead of the half-arsed local TV attempt, that could work, but it's too late now
JA
JAS84 Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
The only way it would make sense for the regional brands to return is if they took over That's TV and the other local channels. But STV actually had four local licences in Scotland and ended up selling them to That's, so it clearly isn't viable.
AN
Andrew Founding member Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
On production companies, I wouldn't mind Emmerdale being credited to ITV Studios Yorkshire and Corrie to ITV Studios Granada etc.

I'd like them to do that as well

Both Channel 4 and the BBC have some sort of geographical information on their endboards (Channel 4 being where the show was made physically, the BBC being where the production office is)

So in ITV's case, if they did the same, they might as well use the region name rather than town or region (so ITV Granada rather than ITV Salford or ITV North West)

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