The regional provisions on ITV have been outlined by television regulator OFCOM.
The Media regulator OFCOM have announced the up and coming details of the new ITV franchise round, set for next year and will last 10 years. It includes big changes to news and current affairs for Southern Scottish viewers.
Scottish Borders viewers will see a return of a 30 minute Border-Only Lookaround programme covering the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway and most of Cumbria. Similar to the arrangements before ITV Border’s merger with Tyne Tees in February 2009.
In addition, OFCOM wants to see a further 90 minutes of regional programming for the Scottish part of the region. It said that programming could be shared with the other Channel 3 licensees in Scotland. There has been rumours that STV’s Scotland Tonight programme could be shown nightly.
ITV must return to providing separate transmissions for the two parts of the Border region, so that viewers in England can continue to see network programming.
There has been political debates over how Southern Scotland viewers should get their local news. Should it be with ITV or potentially with STV. However at a time when for years the local output in commercial radio and TV have eroded, this could be seen as good news.
Elsewhere the Number of regions are set to 14, but there will be some changes across the board to bulletin lengths outside the 6pm programme. 5 minute lunchtime, 9 minute late night and 10 minute weekend bulletins will be cut.
Also there will be changes to the way the bulletin is. These increased sub-regions will run for 20 minutes with the final 10 minutes potentially featuring ‘non-local’ news stories.
London and Granada will have to remain with a 30 minute fully regional bulletin (similar to Border). Wales is also in the same boat, as they will have officially be a ‘new franchise’ losing the old ‘Wales & West’ tag.