Pretty much agree with the general consensus on the thread, the days of ITV regional identity are long gone. Although its always been known as ITV, branding homogenization started in 1989 with the Get Ready campaign and the subsequent Broadcasting Act of 1990, which led to mergers leading to Carlton (who had little interest in regional identity in the first place and was slowly phased in by Central, although their final idents were a great package by Lambie-Nairn) and Granada (who just used the generic hearts idents and slapped the local franchise logo on it, except for poor Border, at least LWT had some slight uniqueness towards the end) as the final two. The collapse of ITV Digital may of accelerated the inevitable merger of Carlton and Granada.
It's nearly been 20 years without regional identity in England and Wales, that's basically a new generation who never experienced ITV in its original franchised configuration and the new generation is watching less linear TV than the ones before. I agree that there is a nostalgia for the way things were, although its not the same today, ITV haven't forgot their past and acknowledge it occasionally, they just "modernised" to adapt to the new climate. The franchising system (to a degree) stops a single company from having too much control in commercial British broadcasting, but with multichannel broadcasting its not needed anymore.
The "Channel 3" franchising system still exists as a legal technicality, with automatic renewal and no actual franchise rounds taking place but I think it will eventually be scrapped if ITV plc buys out STV.
A unified ITV means they have a single brand that can be marketed around the UK and around the world, it also means no more complex co-ordination involving franchised companies which sometimes have disagreements.
With ITV being more of a publisher broadcaster compared to the franchising days, it has opened up ITV more to other independent studios, even Thames (under different ownership) still exists and is still making programmes for ITV.
However, I do agree with more localised programming, ITV (and the BBC) would do a better job than the Local TV channels which have been a flop.
Last edited by RegularCapital on 10 July 2020 9:10pm