Ofcom Mobile Sector Assessment Interactive Executive Summary

« Paragraph 1.51 | Read the full summary | Paragraph 1.49 »


We therefore seek views on the following proposals for ITV1:

  • retained nations and regions news, but a modest reduction in the minimum requirement for news minutage, reflecting removal of some daytime bulletins;
  • reduced minimum requirements for nations and regions non-news programming, to 15 minutes in England and from 3 to 1.5 hours in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland;
  • reduced quotas for out-of-London production to 35%, in the context of new commitments to such production from the BBC and Channel 4 (see below);
  • reduced network current affairs minimum quota of 50 minutes per week, with the reduction largely outside peak time.


Christopher Orr on 25 September 2008 at 9:30am

ITV was originally set up as a national alternative to BBC with strong regional input to the network. It has worked well for some 60 years. I realise it is difficult to maintain competition against so many new channels as viewers 'hop' through so much choice. However if Ofcom decide to reduce the regional output to 1.5 hours a a week I believe it will be a bad mistake. I work in regional television and so many people ask me why does your station not produce more local programmes like the BBC. There has been a major shift in the USA away from national television to local stations and I beleieve that when the general public get tired of the national stations here ,they will start demanding a return to regional programming. By the time this happens many of the regional stations will have become to small to return to regional production. Maybe Ofcom should look at the regional licence and separate it altogether from ITV 1 or increase the regional output instead of decreasing it to the non-existant 1.5 as they propose.

bryan w on 26 September 2008 at 9:15am

i would like to know how this is going to affect regional news will it make it more regional?I have the luxury of being able to watch three independant itv regions and yet not one of them fully covers the area that i live in the only time we do get a look in is when somehing big happens to be honest i dont really want to know that bertie blogs have broken his leg in bristol because its nowhere near me it would be of intrest though if it was in wiltshire.I really can see the small an minor places no longer getting a news look in if this does go ahead

Brendan Delaney on 26 September 2008 at 9:18am

This is possibly the worst thing that could happen to ITV and is certainly the final nail in the coffin for the regions, which ITV seems to have been intent in killing off for the last 15 years. I notice Ofcom's Ed Richards has said that ITV's PSB focus will include "national and regional news". How on earth can this be possible when, under these new proposals, there's going to be LESS regional news?! And I pity the people who are in the regions which are to be merged as this will surely alienate them and force them to watch the BBC, thereby ensuring, through lack of viewership, the end of the ITV regions.

Ken Wright on 26 September 2008 at 10:30pm

Isn’t it ironic that with the proliferation of channels the choice of programmes on TV gets ever smaller.

Giving permission for ITV to reduce regional output will almost certainly mean the emasculation of Border Television's 'Lookaround' daily news programme. BBCs regional news programme supposedly covering Cumbria, concentrates almost exclusively on the North East.

Having lived in many different parts of Britain, 'Lookaround' is, in my opinion, one of the better regional news programmes and it will be a sad day when we lose it.

It seems to me that national and international news has reached saturation point, and we are bombarded day and night with endless repetitions. I can’t understand the logic that says local news is of less value. If some of the resources ‘wasted’ on the duplication of international reporting was invested in local news, then I think ITV would find there would be many more viewers, attracting more local advertising, helping to pay for good local broadcasting.

Come on ITV, start thinking more positively and creatively – if you don’t, you’ll lose more viewers – including me.

John R Hall on 25 October 2008 at 8:56pm

The loss of Border Regional News will be severe for Cumbria because the BBC cover is extremely poor. If ITV are to be allowed to reduce their news coverage in this region then the BBC should be forced to provide a proper service for Cumbria. An alternative would be for some of the licence revenue to be given to ITV to provide what the BBC are totally failing to provide. They call their regional news 'North East and Cumbria' and most of Cumbrian coverage resides only in the title. A notable exception is the regional weather forecast which is good. The BBC need to justify keeping all the licence income.

Tony Blackmore on 31 October 2008 at 7:48pm

Why were Ofcom not planning ahead? Why have proper plans not been put in place to ring fence spectrum within group and at normal power on all main transmitters and repeaters, and offer it at a realistic and fixed price, to the bidder with the best plan, for the express purpose of regional/local stations? (with aggregation/misappropriation of the spectrum for a pseudo national network forbidden). Then as ITV willfully abandons the regions due to mismanagement and ineptitude, new providers could spring up to replace them. It is simply not the case that there is no money in regional and local TV. Properly run local stations could be viable businesses providing PSB content and local interest programming.

Dave Lloyd on 28 November 2008 at 12:23pm

ITV regional news and local programming are extremely valued by its audiences. ITV PLC has already saved millions of pounds over the years by merging the regions into one company. How much more will they be allowed to get away with? As Andy Burnham has seemingly at last woke up to the devistation these proposals will make, I suggest the following.
Allow 2.5 hours of regional content per week (and including news content) to be auctioned off to interested party's on a 'quality threshold' basis and I am certain the loss of a chance to broadscast for this amount of time will hopefully do the trick & focus ITV on what they were brought into being to do...be a regional broadcaster.
Maybe as a ploy in negotiations, allow ITV to wholly take over GMTV & broadcast their own programmes between 6-9.25am.

Douglas Millar on 2 December 2008 at 8:04am

Your proposals for the Border ITV licence are simply wrong! How can the interests of viewers in the Border Scotland be served by a reduced news service reflecting life in Scotland.

Douglas Millar on 2 December 2008 at 8:10am

This is MAD. ITV's strength is its regional identity - how can OFCOM ditch that?

In Scotland STV has seen local advertising growth since it split its transmission system to provide regional advertisements - and has seen audience growth when it sub-divided its news programming.

STV would meet its new quota by providing its news service and its daily magazine programme and no other programming - political, religious educational etc. That is simply not what the people of Scotland want.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About this Site

On this experimental site we encourage you to leave informal comments alongside the Executive Summary of Ofcom's Second Public Service Broadcasting Review - Phase Two: preparing for the digital future, published on 25 September 2008.

Alternatively, you can download the full consultation document, and/or respond formally to the consultation (closing date 4 December 2008). You can also follow the debate on the PSB Review blog.