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Should (and could) ITV regionalise again?

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

NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
The only way I could see the ITV franchises being put out to tender is if there was a huge restructuring of the UK PSB landscape as a result of the BBC being significantly reduced in scope or scrapped altogether.


If the BBC were scrapped then all hell would break loose. I know that the Beeb has its critics but it's even more entrenched in the national makeup then ITV is. When plans were announced for Radio 4 to be taken off long wave there was a huge write-in campaign to keep it.
Jeffmister and Coronavision gave kudos
CO
Coronavision
I'm not sure ITV is held in high regard at all any more. Some of the individual programmes, for sure but the company? They've messed around with their "brand" so much in the last 20-30 years I doubt many would notice as long as Corrie was on the same channel. They're not strong like the BBC at all.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I'm not sure ITV is held in high regard at all any more. Some of the individual programmes, for sure but the company? They've messed around with their "brand" so much in the last 20-30 years I doubt many would notice as long as Corrie was on the same channel. They're not strong like the BBC at all.


I’ll admit that the brand has lost some of its lustre since the 1990’s but it still has a prominent role in the nation’s cultural makeup.

An historical context is required here. From my reading Granada had a hand in the way in which the franchises were offered in 1991.

Now its plausible and I dare say likely that Granada were determined to not only keep their license which they did but had their eye on other channels which is why they were able to create a fail safe.

You talk about individual programmes having more prestige. Maybe so but ITV has an ace in the hole as the home of Coronation St etc.
CO
Coronavision
Absolutely ITV has a number of bankable shows that keep it relatively successful. But I really don't think the channel (or collection of channels) is really an institution as it once was.

For all its faults, the BBC TV and Radio channels are held in very high esteem by viewers and listeners - look at the fuss when 6 Music was due to close, and that's a pretty minor station.

There is no question that the hit programmes ITV has would be carried over in the event of ITV disappearing, and there would be a fuss if some were to go. But the rest of it? There's no real PSB to speak of any more other than the news/current affairs, and I don't think that's distinctive enough to be missed much if it went.

The rest of it is pretty generic stuff, just fluffy, generalist populist programming for the masses. Nothing that couldn't be replicated by anyone else who put their mind to it.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
You make some good points and in a more rational context they would be received wisdom. But we have to bring the emotional factor into play.

I grew up in the eighties when itv was arguably at its height and generated a lot of warm feelings.

It’s plausible to assume that many 80s kids still have those feelings and the loss of itv would be an emotional wrench. We’re very sentimental about these things.
RO
robertclark125 STV Central Reporting Scotland
If ITV were to regionalise once again, I would very much doubt that each region would end up with its own studio complexes once again. Yes, I sure do miss being on holiday in Whitley bay, and walking just up off the quayside in Newcastle, and seeing the Tyne Tees Studios on City Road. The same that the Southern/TVS/Meridian complex at Southampton is no longer there, or for that matter Derrys Cross in Plymouth (due to be a housing scheme, which I think should be called Westward Court), but even if we did have a proper regional ITv structure again, the fact that there is so little in terms of regional variations, and also the fact that a lot of the peak programming is now dominated by stuff being shown five days a week, means it'll never be the ITV of the 1980s.
Coronavision, Ne1L C and Anglialad gave kudos
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
If ITV were to regionalise once again, I would very much doubt that each region would end up with its own studio complexes once again. Yes, I sure do miss being on holiday in Whitley bay, and walking just up off the quayside in Newcastle, and seeing the Tyne Tees Studios on City Road. The same that the Southern/TVS/Meridian complex at Southampton is no longer there, or for that matter Derrys Cross in Plymouth (due to be a housing scheme, which I think should be called Westward Court), but even if we did have a proper regional ITv structure again, the fact that there is so little in terms of regional variations, and also the fact that a lot of the peak programming is now dominated by stuff being shown five days a week, means it'll never be the ITV of the 1980s.


As I said many posts ago there are still a lot of long memories of old ITV and a lot of wistful thinking. Those days are long gone and as much as many want the "good old days" to return the cold hard fact is that ITV is now as "national" as it can be and is keeping its threadbare PSB commitments to keep their hands on the high EPG positions they hold. Sad but true.
Coronavision and AlfieMulcahy gave kudos
RO
robertclark125 STV Central Reporting Scotland
If ITV were to regionalise once again, I would very much doubt that each region would end up with its own studio complexes once again. Yes, I sure do miss being on holiday in Whitley bay, and walking just up off the quayside in Newcastle, and seeing the Tyne Tees Studios on City Road. The same that the Southern/TVS/Meridian complex at Southampton is no longer there, or for that matter Derrys Cross in Plymouth (due to be a housing scheme, which I think should be called Westward Court), but even if we did have a proper regional ITv structure again, the fact that there is so little in terms of regional variations, and also the fact that a lot of the peak programming is now dominated by stuff being shown five days a week, means it'll never be the ITV of the 1980s.


As I said many posts ago there are still a lot of long memories of old ITV and a lot of wistful thinking. Those days are long gone and as much as many want the "good old days" to return the cold hard fact is that ITV is now as "national" as it can be and is keeping its threadbare PSB commitments to keep their hands on the high EPG positions they hold. Sad but true.


You make very good points Neil. The only way that we could ever return to the ITV of the 1980s, is if a lot of content was freshly made for ITV2-4, regional variations on ITV were increased, and if the likes of the soaps were reduced to perhaps twice a week each. Given the latter bring in viewers, and thus advertising, and given a percentage of stuff has to be made by outside companies, we'll not have the ITV of the 1980s. Yes, it was great while we had it, but ITV changed. It changed, not just because of the 1991 franchise auction, nor the ownership changes, but what viewers were wanting changed.

Add to that also, in the 1980s, the only competition ITV had for advertising revenue were a couple of Sky channels, and cinemas, and it was no surprise that each region was able to command such vast production centres, as they were virtually producing everything for themselves, and some stuff for channel 4. As Sky expanded, advertising revenue was being sought after more, and in 1993 Channel 4 sold its own airtime, adding further competition. In reality, ITV wasn't able to afford to keep the likes of City Road Newcastle, especially as regional programming became fewer and further between.

I'll look at it in another aspect; I liked the original yellow, blue and white livery of the ninety metrocars of the Tyne and Wear Metro. But, as the years went on, the cars needed refurbishing, and the livery was changed to reflect this. The people could tell what was a refurbished car, by the livery. Times change, nothing we can do about it sadly, yet ironically, we sometimes want to modernise things.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
If ITV were to regionalise once again, I would very much doubt that each region would end up with its own studio complexes once again. Yes, I sure do miss being on holiday in Whitley bay, and walking just up off the quayside in Newcastle, and seeing the Tyne Tees Studios on City Road. The same that the Southern/TVS/Meridian complex at Southampton is no longer there, or for that matter Derrys Cross in Plymouth (due to be a housing scheme, which I think should be called Westward Court), but even if we did have a proper regional ITv structure again, the fact that there is so little in terms of regional variations, and also the fact that a lot of the peak programming is now dominated by stuff being shown five days a week, means it'll never be the ITV of the 1980s.


As I said many posts ago there are still a lot of long memories of old ITV and a lot of wistful thinking. Those days are long gone and as much as many want the "good old days" to return the cold hard fact is that ITV is now as "national" as it can be and is keeping its threadbare PSB commitments to keep their hands on the high EPG positions they hold. Sad but true.


You make very good points Neil. The only way that we could ever return to the ITV of the 1980s, is if a lot of content was freshly made for ITV2-4, regional variations on ITV were increased, and if the likes of the soaps were reduced to perhaps twice a week each. Given the latter bring in viewers, and thus advertising, and given a percentage of stuff has to be made by outside companies, we'll not have the ITV of the 1980s. Yes, it was great while we had it, but ITV changed. It changed, not just because of the 1991 franchise auction, nor the ownership changes, but what viewers were wanting changed.

Add to that also, in the 1980s, the only competition ITV had for advertising revenue were a couple of Sky channels, and cinemas, and it was no surprise that each region was able to command such vast production centres, as they were virtually producing everything for themselves, and some stuff for channel 4. As Sky expanded, advertising revenue was being sought after more, and in 1993 Channel 4 sold its own airtime, adding further competition. In reality, ITV wasn't able to afford to keep the likes of City Road Newcastle, especially as regional programming became fewer and further between.

I'll look at it in another aspect; I liked the original yellow, blue and white livery of the ninety metrocars of the Tyne and Wear Metro. But, as the years went on, the cars needed refurbishing, and the livery was changed to reflect this. The people could tell what was a refurbished car, by the livery. Times change, nothing we can do about it sadly, yet ironically, we sometimes want to modernise things.


Hmm I can see ITV 2 being used as a station for regional output. I'm not talking about news etc but programmes such as 21st century versions of Out Of Town, The Dales Diary etc.
AM
AlfieMulcahy Meridian (South East) South East Today
What do you think the possibility of an ITV, Channel 4 merger down the road. To form The 'Independent Television Company'
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NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
What do you think the possibility of an ITV, Channel 4 merger down the road. To form The 'Independent Television Company'


With respect I just can’t see it happening. ITV and C4 are far too different. Such a merger were it to happen would allow itv to dump all its psb requirements to c4 and c4 hasn’t got the infrastructure.
JO
Jonwo (previously Jonwo87)
The chances of ITV2, a channel aimed at 16-34s taking on regional programmes are zero.

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