The television regulator has renewed the broadcasting licences for the two STV regions in Scotland, UTV in Northern Ireland and ITV’s England, Channel Islands and Wales service.
Ofcom has given the three companies of the ITV network a further decade franchise contract to run from 1st January 2015, following acceptance of terms by the licensees.
This follows the decision by Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, in November 2012, which enabled the renewal of these public service broadcasting licences. The national Channel 5 service was also today re-awarded its broadcast licence.
The renewal of the Channel 3 and 5 licences is an important step in securing a sustainable future for commercial public service broadcasting in the UK over the next decade. – Ed Richards, Ofcom’s Chief Executive
Earlier this month, Ofcom confirmed that it would renew the licences and set out the terms for renewal, which all the licensees have now accepted. ITVplc provides the Channel 3 service in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and a limited Southern Scotland service via the ITV Border region. STV Media Group covers northern Scotland with STV North and STV Central for the midland of the country and UTV serves viewers in Northern Ireland.
ITVplc also operate the ITV Breakfast franchise, formerly GMTV. Changes for the new ITV contracts sees the ITV West and ITV Wales franchise split with Wales having its own service, while ITV West is merged with ITV Westcountry. ITV Border is also de-merged with ITV Tyne Tees.