television network in the United Kingdom

ITV is a british free-to-air television receiver network. It was launched in 1955 as Independent Television to provide competition to BBC Television ( established in 1936 ). [ 1 ] ITV is the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal identify has been Channel 3 to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4. ITV was for four decades a net of freestanding companies which provided regional television receiver services and besides shared programmes between each other to be shown on the entire network. Each franchise was originally owned by a different company. After several mergers, the fifteen regional franchises are now held by two companies : ITV plc, which runs the ITV channel, and STV Group, which runs the channel STV.

The ITV network is a separate entity from ITV plc, the party that resulted from the fusion of Granada plc and Carlton Communications in 2004. ITV plc holds the Channel 3 circulate licences for every region except for central and northern Scotland, which are held by STV Group. nowadays ITV plc merely commissions the network schedule centrally – programmes are made by its own auxiliary ITV Studios and freelancer product companies. regional program remains in news and some current affairs series. In Northern Ireland, ITV plc used the stigmatize name UTV as the name of the channel until April 2020. This was the name used by erstwhile owner UTV Media ( now known as Wireless Group ). ITV plc bought UTV in 2016. Although the ITV network ‘s history goes back to 1955, many regional franchisees changed over the years. Some of the most significant names in the network ‘s past – notably Thames, ABC and ATV – have no connection with the mod network .


Granada Studios, was built in 1954 to house the broadcaster Granada Television. Granada Television opened in 1956 and is the only franchisee to remain an ITV contractor since the creation of the network. The Granada studios closed in 2013. The ITV network in 1962, after all regional companies had begun broadcasting The origins of ITV dwell in the passing of the Television Act 1954, designed to break the monopoly on television held by the BBC Television Service. [ 1 ] The act created the Independent Television Authority ( ITA, then IBA after the Sound Broadcasting Act ) to heavy regulate the industry and to award franchises. The first base six franchises were awarded in 1954 for London, the Midlands and the North of England, with offprint franchises for Weekdays and Weekends. [ 1 ] The first ITV military service to launch was London ‘s Associated-Rediffusion on 22 September 1955, [ 2 ] with the Midlands and North services launching in February 1956 and May 1956 respectively. Following these launches, the ITA awarded more franchises until the whole area was covered by fourteen regional stations, all launched by 1962. The network has been modified respective times through franchise reviews that have taken place in 1963, [ 3 ] 1967, [ 4 ] 1974, [ 5 ] 1980 [ 6 ] [ 7 ] and 1991, [ 8 ] during which circulate regions have changed and service operators have been replaced. merely one service operator has always been declared bankrupt, WWN in 1963, [ 9 ] with all other operators leaving the network as a result of a franchise review. separate weekend franchises were removed in 1968 ( with the exception of London ) [ 3 ] and over the years more services were added ; these included a national breakfast franchise from 1983 onward—operating between 6:00 am and 9:25 am—and a teletext military service. [ 6 ] The Broadcasting Act 1990 changed the nature of ITV ; the then regulator the IBA was replaced with a light-touch regulator, the ITC ; companies became able to purchase other ITV regional companies [ 10 ] and franchises were immediately being awarded based upon a highest-bidder auction, with few safeguards in place. [ 8 ] This heavily knock separate of the review saw four operators replaced, and the operators facing unlike annual payments to the Treasury : cardinal Television, for example, paid only £2,000—despite holding a lucrative and bombastic region—because it was unopposed, while Yorkshire Television paid £37.7 million for a region of the same size and condition, owing to arduous contest. [ 8 ] [ 11 ] Following the 1993 changes, ITV as a network began to consolidate with several companies doing so to save money by ceasing the duplication of services salute when they were all separate companies. By 2004, the ITV network was owned by five companies, of which two, Carlton and Granada had become major players by owning between them all the franchises in England, Wales, the scottish borders and the Isle of Man. [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ] That lapp year, the two merged to form ITV plc [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ] with the only subsequent acquisitions being the coup d’etat of Channel Television, the Channel Islands franchise, in 2011 ; [ 15 ] and UTV, the franchise for Northern Ireland, in 2015 .

constitution ( other networks ).

The ITV network is not owned or operated by one company, but by a number of licensees, which provide regional services while besides broadcasting programmes across the network. Since 2016, the fifteen licences are held by two companies, with the majority held by ITV Broadcasting Limited, part of ITV plc. The network is regulated by the media regulator Ofcom who is responsible for awarding the broadcast licences. The last major review of the Channel 3 franchises was in 1991, with all operators ‘ licences having been renewed between 1999 and 2002 and again from 2014 without a far contest. While this has been the longest time period that the ITV network has gone without a major follow-up of its license holders, Ofcom announced ( following consultation ) that it would split the Wales and West license from 1 January 2014, creating a national license for Wales and joining the newly separated West area to Westcountry Television, to form a fresh license for the hypertrophied South West of England region. All companies holding a license were separate of the non-profit body ITV Network Limited, which commissioned and scheduled network programming, with complaisance previously handled by ITV plc and Channel Television. however, due to amalgamation of several of these companies since the creation of ITV Network Limited ( and given Channel Television is now owned by ITV plc ), it has been replaced by an affiliation system. [ 16 ] Approved by Ofcom, this results in ITV plc commission and funding the network schedule, with STV and UTV paying a fee to broadcast it. [ 16 ] All licensees have the right to opt out of network program ( except for the home newsworthiness bulletins ), however many do not due to pressures from the parent company or because of limited resources. [ 16 ] Prior to the affiliate system being introduced, STV would frequently ( and sometimes controversially ) opt out of several popular network programmes – such as the original run of the first serial of Downton Abbey – citing the need to provide more scots content to its viewers. [ 17 ] As a public service broadcaster, the ITV network is obliged to broadcast programming of public importance, including news program, current affairs, children ‘s and religious program a well as party election broadcasts on behalf of the major political parties and political events, such as the Budget. The net besides needs to produce accessible output containing subtitles, signing and audio description. In commute for this programming, the ITV network is available on all platforms free to publicize and can be found at the top of the EPG of all providers. Since the launch of the chopine in 1998, all of the ITV licensees have received gifted capacity on the digital planetary television receiver chopine. At introduce, the companies are able to broadcast extra channels and all choose to broadcast the ITV plc owned ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV in their region. UTV and STV ( once scots Television and Grampian Television ) previously broadcast their own services – UTV2 in Northern Ireland and S2 in central and northern Scotland – until 2002, when they adopted the ITV plc channels. Despite this, STV was given a air license for what would become the STV2 groove in 2013, however this was ephemeral and the channel closed in 2018. The broadcasters all make use of the Digital 3 & 4 multiplex, shared with Channel 4. ITV Encore launched in June 2014 and ITVBe launched in October 2014. ITV Box Office launched in February 2017 .

ITV plc.

ITV plc owns thirteen of the fifteen franchises and broadcasts to England, Wales, southern Scotland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland through its subsidiary company company ITV Broadcasting Limited. [ 15 ] The company besides owns the breakfast television license, [ 18 ] which as of January 2020, broadcasts across the network between 6:00 and 10:00am each good morning using the Good Morning Britain ( previously Daybreak ) and Lorraine names. The company broadcasts a centralized service under the ITV trade name. In Northern Ireland, ITV used the UTV post diagnose as the name of the duct until April 2020. The group besides owns ITV Studios, the product arm of the caller and formed from an amalgamation of all the production departments of the regional licences they own. The ship’s company produces a large proportion of ITV ‘s network program ( around 47 %, but previously a high as 66 % according to some reports [ 19 ] ), with the rest coming chiefly from independent suppliers ( under the Broadcasting Act 1990, at least 25 % of ITV ‘s full output must be from independent companies ). [ 20 ] ITV plc hopes to increase the sum of in-house program to as close to the 75 % limit as possible. The group cut the act of regional news programmes offered from 17 in 2007 to 9 by 2009, resulting several regions being merged to form one program, including the Border and Tyne Tees regions, the Westcountry and West regions and the removal of submarine regional programming, with some regions only represented by pre-recorded segments. [ 21 ]

STV Group.

STV Group plc owns two franchises, covering central and northern Scotland, through auxiliary companies STV Central and STV North, broadcasting a cardinal overhaul under the STV brand. The caller has had respective disputes with ITV plc in holocene years over network program. STV aims to broadcast more scots programmes at point times and so remove several key ITV plc programmes from their schedule in July 2009 including The Bill, Midsomer Murders and Lewis. [ 22 ] Despite STV ‘s explanation of expense, ITV plc were angered by the decision, as a holocene schedule deepen had made The Bill central to their program, and broadcast the programmes on ITV3 a well to ensure scottish viewers could see the programmes. On 23 September ITV plc was reported to be in the work of suing STV for £20 million, as ITV felt dropping the shows constituted a breach of net agreements ; [ 23 ] STV subsequently counter-sued ITV plc for £35 million. The dispute was ended in 2011 with STV agreeing to pay ITV plc £18 million. The sign of the new affiliation deal has resulted in STV paying a flat fee for all network programming, and therefore to drop any programmes is improbable due to the large costs involved. [ 24 ]

stream licensees.

On-air brand of the ITV network regions since 2013 The amply ITV-branded franchises since 2014 There are fifteen regional licences, covering fourteen regions ( there are separate weekday and weekend licences for the London region ), and one national license for the breakfast service. All licences listed hera were renewed until the end of 2024. Licences in England and Wales were held by the individual regional ITV plc owned companies anterior to November 2008. [ 25 ] The appointment to provide national news for Channel 3 is besides subject to approval by Ofcom. This appointment has been held by ITN since the channel ‘s origin, and has besides been approved through the end of 2024. [ 26 ]

National Channel 3 licences
Licence service area Licence holder[28] Licence held since Parent company Service name On air name
National breakfast time[Note 11] ITV Breakfast Limited 1993 ITV plc[Note 12] ITV Breakfast ITV


ITV share of viewing 1981–2008 Broadcasters ‘ Audience Research Board figures. For over 60 years of ITV, its homegrown programmes have become among the best remembered equally well as being highly successful. Before the 1990s, closely all of the content for the channel was produced by the fifteen franchise licensees : the regional companies. however, following legislation in the Broadcasting Act 1990 imposing a 25 % quota for commissioning of freelancer productions, [ 20 ] the number of programmes from independent production companies not connected to the traditional ITV network, has increased quickly. luminary examples include Talkback Thames ( one half of which, Thames Television, was itself a former ITV franchisee ), producers of The Bill and co-producers of The X Factor, and 2waytraffic ( previously Celador ), producers of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. From the late 1990s, ITV ‘s long-standing commitment to strong current affairs and documentary program began to diminish with the ending of productions such as World in Action ( Granada Television ), This Week ( Rediffusion London / Thames Television ), First Tuesday ( Yorkshire Television ), Network First, Survival ( Anglia Television ), and Weekend World ( LWT ) and their replacement with democrat shows such as Tonight. News at Ten was besides axed in 1999, although it was reinstated in 2001. In December 2009, the final edition of ITV ‘s long-running arts plan, The South Bank Show was broadcast. ITV ‘s primetime schedules are dominated by its soap operas, such as the flagship Coronation Street and Emmerdale. At the start of the twenty-first hundred, Independent Television faced criticism for including a large sum of “ reality television receiver ” programmes in the schedule, such as Celebrity Fit Club, Celebrity Wrestling and Celebrity Love Island. In its defense mechanism, ITV does continue to show its major strengths in the fields of sports coverage and drama productions, and it continues to schedule national news in primetime .


television has been broadcast on ITV at breakfast since 1 February 1983. It was initially run by an independent contractile organ – TV-am, and late GMTV – until GMTV Limited became a wholly owned auxiliary of ITV plc in November 2009. [ 30 ] historically, ITV aired breakfast programmes from 6am until 9.25am but ITV extended this to 10am on weekdays on 6 January 2020. [ 31 ] and now broadcasts two breakfast programmes on weekdays – Good Morning Britain and Lorraine. Good Morning Britain keeps viewers up to date with all the latest news, sports, features and weather, whilst Lorraine predominantly focuses on fame interviews, recipes, fashion and showbiz. At weekends, ITV Breakfast airs children ‘s program, a simulcast of CITV Breakfast, under the CITV brand .

Daytime program.

ITV ‘s strong day line-up helped by programmes such as This Morning, Loose Women, Dickinson’s Real Deal and game shows Tipping Point and The Chase are very popular, achieving the highest consultation plowshare during the day slot. [ 32 ]


In recent years the network has tried to use formats that ITV Studios own out-right ( whether they have originated in the UK with their Lifted Entertainment [ 33 ] caller or have come from product companies they own afield ), though some democratic program formats like The Masked Singer have still been acquired from early companies overseas. Currently ITV are behind the formats for Dancing on Ice, The Voice UK ( the format originally coming from their dutch product company ) and I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, while forthcoming music game show Walk The Line has been co-developed by Simon Cowell ‘s Syco Entertainment and ITV. [ 34 ] [ 35 ] [ 36 ] [ 37 ]

National and external news program.

Since the net started, Independent Television News Limited ( ITN ) has held the contract to produce news for the ITV network, with 30-minute national news bulletins presently broadcast at 1:30 prime minister, and 10:00 promethium, and an hour-long bulletin at 6.30pm. These bulletins were broadcast under the ITN stigmatize from 1955 until 1999, when a modern network identity reinforced the ITV brand, resulting in the new bulletins being broadcast under the ITV News brand. [ 38 ] [ 39 ] ITN has long been respected in the news industry as a source of reliable information and news program, and as a resultant role the service has won many awards for their programmes, the latest being in May 2011 when News at Ten was named best news program by the Royal Television Society and BAFTA .


The ITV National Weather calculate was first circulate in 1989, using data supplied by the Met Office, and was presented by a number of weather forecasters. The forecasts are sponsored in which the sponsors message, would appear anterior to and following the calculate. The forecasts are made immediately after the main national newsworthiness bulletins. anterior to the creation of the national bode, each regional party provided its own regional forecast. The regional forecasts today are incorporated into the main regional news bulletins, and in the summer months, includes a pollen count .

Late-night program.

presently only new episodes of long-form news and current affairs programmes like Exposure, [ 40 ] Peston [ 41 ] and On Assignment [ 42 ] are being scheduled after News at Ten, with the latter claim presently only appearing on a month-by-month footing. As the channel carries a simulcast of the Ideal World [ 43 ] shop net for a couple of hours after midnight, the time between the news and the shopping is normally kept for re-runs, with ITV repeating its primetime entertainment shows or sports programming from ITV4. [ 44 ] [ 45 ] [ 46 ] [ 47 ] ITV continues with its regularly scheduled scheduling after Ideal World at around 3am with showbiz news bulletin FYI Extra [ 48 ] and repeats, many of which have on-screen BSL sign for the deaf community. [ 49 ] Replacing the data based ITV Nightscreen slot in 2021 was Unwind With ITV, [ 50 ] programming produced in association with the Campaign Against Living Miserably. At around 4am each night this mindfulness program shows calming shots of natural landscapes and relaxing animations for around an hour, [ 51 ] [ 52 ] with versions of the footage besides seen on ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 .

regional program.

The regional ITV companies are required to provide local news as separate of their franchise agreement together with local upwind forecasts, with the main local anesthetic bulletin at 6pm and regional bulletins located after each national news broadcast. In addition to this, traditionally ITV companies would provide early regional program based on current affairs, entertainment or play. however, apart from a monthly political broadcast, most non-news regional programming in the english regions was dropped by ITV plc in 2009, although it continues in Wales and the Channel Islands, adenine well as on STV and UTV and ITV Border in Scotland from 2014 to cover chiefly scots politics whilst ITV Border in England broadcast network programming. [ 53 ] On 14 January 2013, ITV plc regional newsworthiness programmes titles were discontinued in favor of more generic stigmatize under the ITV News title with the area listed as the subheading. however some “ inheritance ” sword names were retained including Calendar, Granada Reports and Lookaround. On 28 June 2014, ITV News Cymru Wales returned to its historic name of Wales at Six .

current regional news program programmes.

ITV News and STV News regions and sub-regions since 2013 andregions and sub-regions since 2013

Former programmes.


Children ‘s programming.

The network broadcasts children ‘s programming under the CITV ( Children ‘s ITV ) chain. Children ‘s programming was primitively provided during weekday afternoons and weekend mornings, however following the launch of the CITV Channel in 2006, all children ‘s program, with the exception of the weekend ITV Breakfast slot, were relocated from the ITV line-up to the CITV channel in 2007, a move which was challenged by Ofcom in April 2007 .

Schools programming.

Schools programming on the network began in 1957 in some regions and expanded as more regions began broadcasting. It was a contractual obligation for some ITV companies to broadcast schools programming, and this was initially broadcast as partially of the convention schedule. The programmes were moved into a segment for circulate during the day in the 1960s, under the banner Independent Television for Schools and Colleges and from 1987 were broadcast on Channel 4 in the ITV Schools on Channel 4 section. In 1993, this segment became Channel 4 Schools and late in 2000 4Learning. These strands of programming consisted of schools programming from all the ITV companies or from autonomous sources. The schools strand itself is now defunct, with no especial stigmatization section used .

noteworthy program.

Daytime programming.

Primetime program.

Weekend program.

Night-time program.

Teletext provider.

The Public Teletext Licence [ 67 ] allows the holder to broadcast a text-based information service around the clock on Channel 3 ( equally well as Channel 4 and S4C ) frequencies. Teletext on ITV was provided by ORACLE from 1974 until 1993 and from 1993 to 2010 by Teletext Ltd., whose newsworthiness, mutant and television receiver listings pages rivalled the BBC ‘s offer, Ceefax on tellurian and BBC Red Button on digital. Teletext Ltd. besides provided digital teletext for the Channel 3 services, angstrom well as the text output for both Channel 4 and S4C under the same license and Channel 5. however, the license was revoked by Ofcom on 29 January 2010 for failing to provide newsworthiness and local non-news data on ITV and there is presently no teletext license holder for ITV. [ 68 ]

Availability outside the UK.

ITV ( as UTV ) is widely available in Ireland, where it is received immediately in areas bordering Northern Ireland, or in coastal areas from Wales ( as ITV Cymru Wales ). Until 2015, it was besides carried on cable, when it was replaced by UTV Ireland, which was itself replaced by be3, now Virgin Media Three. ITV program is besides available to irish viewers on Virgin Media One ( including soap operas Emmerdale and Coronation Street ). ITV is besides available on cable and IPTV in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Since 27 March 2013, it has been offered by the british Forces Broadcasting Service ( BFBS ) to members of HM Forces and their families around the earth, replacing the BFBS3 TV duct, which already carried a selection of ITV programmes. [ 69 ]


Since the launching of ITV, there have been concerns from politicians and the imperativeness that ITV faced a conflict concerning program audiences and advertisers. As advertisers are loath to buy advertising space about low viewing programmes, there is a pressure on ITV to broadcast more popular programmes in flower times. This has become more profound in recent years following a liberalization in regulation and importantly more contest in the advertising market following the huge addition in commercial channels. In recent years, programmes have started to dominate from the reality television writing style including the celebrity and talent show subgenres. This has led to accusations of ITV ‘dumbing down ‘ their programmes and appealing to the ‘ lowest common denominator ‘, accusations that are at odds with the network ‘s condition as a public avail broadcaster. [ 70 ] [ 71 ] ITV was/is besides heavy criticised for scaling back its regional programmes, including regional news, besides ITV has been criticised ( since 2010 ) for showing Emmerdale and Coronation Street at the 8:30 weekday slot ( except Tuesdays ) .

Awards and nominations.

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2017 Diversity in Media Awards Broadcaster of the Year ITV Nominated

On-air identity.

Before 1989, each regional company used its own appoint for designation and the identify “ ITV ” was rarely seen on screen. From 1989, a national ITV corporate identity was established, which saw regional brands combined with the national ITV brand, although the libra between regional and national brands varied from company to company. It was not until 2002 that national ITV-branded continuity was adopted across all the regions in England, although regional continuity before local anesthetic programmes continued until 2006. On-screen stigmatize, in the ITV-branded regions only :

See besides.



parent companies.

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