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Should (and could) ITV regionalise again?

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

AM
AlfieMulcahy Meridian (South East) South East Today
Jonwo posted:
The chances of ITV2, a channel aimed at 16-34s taking on regional programmes are zero.

Yeah
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JO
Jon Central (West) Midlands Today
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.

In that case, it wouldn’t allow ITV to dump their PSB requirements on Channel 4. Of course they’d be one company if that were to happen so they would have all the same resources and could flip the channels so 4 had the regional variations. But realistically I think the PSB arrangements would remain broadly the same if this very hypothetical situation was to occur. ITV does very different PSB output than Channel 4 on the whole.
JO
Jon Central (West) Midlands Today
What do you think the possibility of an ITV, Channel 4 merger down the road. To form The 'Independent Television Company'

If Channel 4 was privatised, I’m sure it would be vulnerable to a take over. It might not be from ITV though.
GL
Gluben Anglia (East) Look East
What do you think the possibility of an ITV, Channel 4 merger down the road. To form The 'Independent Television Company'


I could see Channel 4 and Channel 5 merging to become essentially what we had between 1982 and 1997, but not ITV as well. Channel 4 acts as the alternative to ITV in the same way that BBC2 does to BBC1. Channel 5 doesn't really add anything to the mix.

I'm still waiting for ITV to buy out STV. It'll happen, I'm sure, just a question of when. Or indeed if the Indyref2 thing ever goes away significantly.

I also expect S4C to eventually be axed due to low viewers.

But no, I can't see regional stations ever becoming a thing again. It was of its time and there's no real demand for it, plus it's way too complicated to do now anyway. ITV is a shell of its former self anyway.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
It’s more like a “regeneration” from one form to another.
RI
Riaz
Highly unlikely for several reasons.


Take into account that ITV could be the winner, or even the only applicant for some of the regions...

Quote:
1. The Channel Islands are with respect the smallest and least profitable. Any potential licensee could face the possibility of forking out for not much in return.


I previously stated that CTV was technically the closest programme contractor to an affiliate. Therefore an applicant for the Channel Islands region could operate as an independent TV channel that functions as an affiliate of ITV similar to a local affiliate of one of the big national TV networks in the US.

Remember that CTV operated successfully as an independent TV company during the ITV strike with only a pile of video tapes from the ITV back catalogue and programmes sourced themselves.

Quote:
2. Northern Ireland is in a unique and potentially perilous position (I'm referring to the franchise). If there was a new franchise round then any potential franchisee would be in for a barrage of questions and enquiries from both sides of the political spectrum about who owned the station and what links (if any) they had to either the Unionists or Republicans. (For the record when Ulster Television launched in 1961 it was comprised of two groups who came together. Both of which were Unionists


Remember that the Northern Ireland region was up for franchise back in 1980 and 1991 during the years of the Troubles, and UTV had competitors. The political situation nowadays is more about whether Northern Ireland is or isn't a member of the EU, or whether the hard border is between Northern Ireland and the Republic or in the Irish Sea, than the Unionist Republican conflict of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.

One could argue that ITV taking over UTV further cements into place mainland Britain's stake into Northern Ireland.

Again, it's a potential territory for an affiliate of ITV rather than an ITV region.

Quote:
3. Wales again with respect has long become submerged into the ITV network to such an extent that a separate licence would struggle with the legacy of what had been before.


You make a fair point that Wales is more integrated into the rest of the ITV network than other peripheral regions are. There are also issues with a large number of residents in north east Wales historically preferring Granada rather than HTV, and this effect will potentially continue if Wales ends up with its own Channel 3 licence holder.

Wales also has S4C as its 'local' channel which technically reduces the requirement for localised (Welsh?) programmes for Wales from whichever company hold the Channel 3 licence.

Quote:
4. STV is still independent of the rest of the network and has to a large extent become integrated into the culture north of the border, Scots may see it as "their station" and its possible that as in Northern Ireland the SNP would have a lot of questions about the applicant's background. If STV were allowed to bid for another franchise then its possible and probable that they'd go for "Border North" which would tidy up the network but the English viewers of Border might be up in arms over their channel owned by a Scottish firm. Tyne Tees would complain about a loss of revenue


The future of STV is potentially intertwined with the future of an independent Scotland. If Scotland becomes independent then its ITV1 regions will disappear - unless the Scottish government wishes to continue them – and STV will largely be outside of the jurisdiction of the DCMS and Ofcom.

If ITV replaces STV then will ITV prefer to take over STV or defeat STV in a franchise round?

Quote:
5. ITV PLC would be up in arms.


ITV will still have all of England if it failed to win any of the 4 regions up for franchise. When Southern, Thames, TVS, TSW, and TV-AM did not have their Channel 3 licence renewed they lost everything as broadcasters. Westward was saved when it was taken over by TSW.

Quote:
ITV as we know it has become part of the country's fixtures and fittings and in many ways we are still a conservative (with a small c) nation and changes such as the ones discussed above would lead to a lot of ructions.


????????????

Individual programmes from ITV are strong brands and part of the country's fixtures and fittings, but ITV as a channel less so. I'm under the impression that ITV is a bit of weak brand (compared with the BBC, C4, and Sky) and is less of a part of the country's fixtures and fittings than the regional ITV companies were for their regions.
RI
Riaz
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.


There are big questions about exactly what PSB material the holder of the Channel 3 licence(s) should offer after 2024. IMO there's no point in the holder of a Channel 3 licence having to replicate what the BBC offers or provide programmes that are already provided by other independent channels when it comes to PSB commitments. There's also the question how far ITV should go to cater for people who are not internet users.

and given a percentage of stuff has to be made by outside companies


I have previously discussed whether ITV having a minimum 25% of programmes made by indies really was a sensible strategy and whether it was successful for both ITV and the indies. It's now a 30 year old strategy that was dubious when implemented but could well be anachronistic nowadays given the multitude of broadcasters that indies can use for their programmes.

But no, I can't see regional stations ever becoming a thing again. It was of its time and there's no real demand for it, plus it's way too complicated to do now anyway. ITV is a shell of its former self anyway.


ITV Plc has no interest in regional broadcasting, regional production, or producing the diversity and variety of programmes once produced by the regional ITV companies. It would be wrong for the government to try to change the modus operandi of ITV to make it do things that it has no interest in or desire to do. If a regional (or very different) future for Channel 3 is proposed after 2024 then it will be best for both Channel 3 and ITV Plc for the DCMS to cut ITV free and not renew its licence, then start afresh.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Riaz posted:
Highly unlikely for several reasons.


Take into account that ITV could be the winner, or even the only applicant for some of the regions...

Quote:
1. The Channel Islands are with respect the smallest and least profitable. Any potential licensee could face the possibility of forking out for not much in return.


I previously stated that CTV was technically the closest programme contractor to an affiliate. Therefore an applicant for the Channel Islands region could operate as an independent TV channel that functions as an affiliate of ITV similar to a local affiliate of one of the big national TV networks in the US.

Remember that CTV operated successfully as an independent TV company during the ITV strike with only a pile of video tapes from the ITV back catalogue and programmes sourced themselves.

Quote:
2. Northern Ireland is in a unique and potentially perilous position (I'm referring to the franchise). If there was a new franchise round then any potential franchisee would be in for a barrage of questions and enquiries from both sides of the political spectrum about who owned the station and what links (if any) they had to either the Unionists or Republicans. (For the record when Ulster Television launched in 1961 it was comprised of two groups who came together. Both of which were Unionists


Remember that the Northern Ireland region was up for franchise back in 1980 and 1991 during the years of the Troubles, and UTV had competitors. The political situation nowadays is more about whether Northern Ireland is or isn't a member of the EU, or whether the hard border is between Northern Ireland and the Republic or in the Irish Sea, than the Unionist Republican conflict of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.

One could argue that ITV taking over UTV further cements into place mainland Britain's stake into Northern Ireland.

Again, it's a potential territory for an affiliate of ITV rather than an ITV region.

Quote:
3. Wales again with respect has long become submerged into the ITV network to such an extent that a separate licence would struggle with the legacy of what had been before.


You make a fair point that Wales is more integrated into the rest of the ITV network than other peripheral regions are. There are also issues with a large number of residents in north east Wales historically preferring Granada rather than HTV, and this effect will potentially continue if Wales ends up with its own Channel 3 licence holder.

Wales also has S4C as its 'local' channel which technically reduces the requirement for localised (Welsh?) programmes for Wales from whichever company hold the Channel 3 licence.

Quote:
4. STV is still independent of the rest of the network and has to a large extent become integrated into the culture north of the border, Scots may see it as "their station" and its possible that as in Northern Ireland the SNP would have a lot of questions about the applicant's background. If STV were allowed to bid for another franchise then its possible and probable that they'd go for "Border North" which would tidy up the network but the English viewers of Border might be up in arms over their channel owned by a Scottish firm. Tyne Tees would complain about a loss of revenue


The future of STV is potentially intertwined with the future of an independent Scotland. If Scotland becomes independent then its ITV1 regions will disappear - unless the Scottish government wishes to continue them – and STV will largely be outside of the jurisdiction of the DCMS and Ofcom.

If ITV replaces STV then will ITV prefer to take over STV or defeat STV in a franchise round?

Quote:
5. ITV PLC would be up in arms.


ITV will still have all of England if it failed to win any of the 4 regions up for franchise. When Southern, Thames, TVS, TSW, and TV-AM did not have their Channel 3 licence renewed they lost everything as broadcasters. Westward was saved when it was taken over by TSW.

Quote:
ITV as we know it has become part of the country's fixtures and fittings and in many ways we are still a conservative (with a small c) nation and changes such as the ones discussed above would lead to a lot of ructions.


????????????

Individual programmes from ITV are strong brands and part of the country's fixtures and fittings, but ITV as a channel less so. I'm under the impression that ITV is a bit of weak brand (compared with the BBC, C4, and Sky) and is less of a part of the country's fixtures and fittings than the regional ITV companies were for their regions.



I can see a situation where both Channel and UTV become affiliates:

Channel and Westcountry could link up as a "Network South-West"

UTV is trickier. Again it comes down to political pressures. Geographically an affiliation with Granada is possible but the Nationalists may be angry. Its possible to say link the fact that many Irish Catholics (as well as protestants) live in Liverpool and Manchester to a trans Irish Sea setup which may mollify the mainstream nationalist community.

Barring that Wales is also possibility but then again you have the risk of saying that Wales is far more integrated into the British political setup despite the fact that they like Northern Ireland/Ulster has it own government.

Staying with Granada in a roundabout way. A new Welsh licence could lead to many in the north and west of the Principality wanting a new channel with closer links to the North-West. A "Television North Wales" could quite easily be a Granada affiliate with offices in Wrexham. This would lead South Wales as a rump

Lets also assume that Scotland is to be rejigged. If they were allowed to go for another region then it would probably be "Border North". Again as with a potential North/South Wales split "Border South would be left floundering. Granada could step in and create a "Television Cumbria" with studios in Carlisle leaving Tyne Tees to revert to its old stomping ground

Granada could find itself as a 5 affiliate tri-nation network covering The Northwest, Northern Ireland and North Wales although this would only happen after terrestrial transmissions close down and ITV switched to streaming only

Television North West covering Greater Manchester
Merseyvision for Merseyside and Cheshire
Television North Wales
Television Cumbria
UTV




Finally you speak about ITV as a brand and I agree with you that its not as strong as the BBC. Its its programmes that are it's saving grace as well as money spinners. At the end of the day it's all about the profit.
Last edited by Ne1L C on 17 July 2020 2:12pm

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