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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)
There was an article in Transdiffusion about a report in the Daily Telegraph back in 1973 about rationalising ITV including creating a combined LWT/South-Eastern area:
https://www.transdiffusion.org/2019/05/27/a-rationalised-itv-structure
MK
Mr Kite Granada North West Today
Glad that didn't happen.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Glad that didn't happen.


Agreed it would have been a mess.
RI
Riaz
There is no Channel 3 franchising system - applicants apply for a licence to broadcast. There is no system of automatic renewal. The current licences expire at towards the end of 2024 and the Secretary of State at the DCMS will decide what will happen to the licences after that.


How would Britain react if the Secretary of State at the DCMS decided not to renew the Channel 3 licence for ITV in 2024?

It wouldn't be the end of the world for ITV as they still have other channels and they could create a new channel as an ITV1 replacement without the PSB commitments. We would still get our Coronation Street!
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
If ever a government is going to turn back the clock it's probably this one, and it would be a way to cover up the failure of local TV. Highly unlikely to happen though - only way I see it is if ITV became a US style network in control of national programming and the bulk of primetime and daytime, with regional elements then franchised out to affiliates. I honestly think though in that scenario viewers would lose out - ITV and the big players may bid for the profitable regions but we'd risk seeing companies of similar quality to That's TV end up with the smaller regions and a huge reduction in quality as a result.
Stay Local. Stay Safe. Stay Alive.
CB
ChipperBird Anglia (East) Look East
Does the government really have that much say over ITV in this case? I don't think the company will be like "oh yeah okay we'll just go regional again" and I don't see any move for that in the commons to begin with. I know govt meddling got them to where they are now, I just think any attempt to break it up would be more trouble than it's worth. ITV won't give up what they have very easily - even though the company itself is maybe a little too cosy in using the time talent pool ect.

They could potentially do something like that with the BBC - but again, I don't see anyone who could action that change inside or out the BBC thinking of that idea. I'ld argue making the Beeb properly regional again might promote slightly more creativity and other issues the Beeb currently has - but *only* if there were people passionate enough to make regional programming a thing again. That said I've not really looked into BBC Scotland and the issues that had, was there much to it, or was it mostly just BBC 1 with minor alterations?

I will say that US local networks do have their local news hours - and local PBS is still a thing, though even PBS kinda ends up in lockstep with other affiliates on programming.
JS
JosiahStuart (previously Josiah.) London World News
The only thing I see with the ITV regions right now is bringing back individual identities. ITV going regional like what has been suggested won't really do much of anything nowadays. Besides, all of the "Big 3" here in the states have got a national thing going all the time until the local news starts.
BL
bluecortina
Riaz posted:
There is no Channel 3 franchising system - applicants apply for a licence to broadcast. There is no system of automatic renewal. The current licences expire at towards the end of 2024 and the Secretary of State at the DCMS will decide what will happen to the licences after that.


How would Britain react if the Secretary of State at the DCMS decided not to renew the Channel 3 licence for ITV in 2024?

It wouldn't be the end of the world for ITV as they still have other channels and they could create a new channel as an ITV1 replacement without the PSB commitments. We would still get our Coronation Street!


The current Channel 3 licences are held (mainly) by a company called ITVplc that trades on-air as ‘ITV’.

ITV is just a name, it isn’t the name of the Channel 3 licences. If the licences were not continued with ITVplc that company could still continue to broadcast either as a PSB or not on the non-PSB multiplexes and they can still continue to call themselves ITV on air because it’s just a name - almost certainly trade marked to prevent others trying to use it in the future. Due you remember the mild furore a few years back when Apple were contemplating using iTV for their proposed media services?

Broadcasting as a PSB comes at a cost to ITVplc and if the licences are rolled over or re-advertised then ITV will naturally consider the cost versus the advantages. Currently they think it’s worth it, but in the future ...?
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Applemask stated in one of his videos that "ITV" doesn't mean anything anymore. Its simply a peg on which to hang programmes on. But because its such a well know peg whoever had it will inevitably have a big grip on the UK market.

This next part is purely subjective and has probably been mentioned many times before but I believe that ITV would drop PBS commitments in a flash if they could and have 6-10PM as pure primetime.

Whether or not that would mean them losing their high EPG positions is open to debate but even if they did the "favourites" functions on TV sets and Cable/satellite boxes would be used to by viewers to watch ITV
ST
Stuart West Country (West) Spotlight
I also believe that ITV would ditch PSB requirements if possible. They could then rid themselves of any semblance of regionality. They could save money on transmission costs on DSat by reducing to just macro regions for advertising purposes the same as C4 & C5.

Their EPG position wouldn't suffer that much, as they'd just move it to the ITV2 slot and shuffle everything else down.
JO
Jonwo (previously Jonwo87)
I think ITV would still have news and weather in the usual slots. The 6pm regional and 6.30pm news do really well for them.
NL
Ne1L C Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
If ever a government is going to turn back the clock it's probably this one, and it would be a way to cover up the failure of local TV. Highly unlikely to happen though - only way I see it is if ITV became a US style network in control of national programming and the bulk of primetime and daytime, with regional elements then franchised out to affiliates. I honestly think though in that scenario viewers would lose out - ITV and the big players may bid for the profitable regions but we'd risk seeing companies of similar quality to That's TV end up with the smaller regions and a huge reduction in quality as a result.


The question that springs to mind is who would have the financial clout to be affiliates? It would need to be a case of very deep pockets.

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