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volume 4
april 2001

Independent Television (ITV)


A short chronology (1954-1997)
Next 1954, July 30th: Television Act institutes the Independent Television Authority (ITA)
Next 1954, August 25th: ITA advertises contracts for London, Midlands and the North of England. Twenty-seven applications are received.
Next 1954, October 14th: ITA decides on the principle of a network system based on four companies operating in three areas on a weekday / weekend basis.
Next 1954, October 26th: The ITA awards the following, first ITV contracts:
  • London (Monday to Friday) — Broadcast Relay Services / Associated Newspapers, later to operate as Associated Rediffusion
  • London (Saturday to Sunday) and Midlands (Monday to Friday) — Associated Broadcasting Development Co Ltd, later reorganised as Associated Television (ATV).
  • Midlands (Saturday to Sunday) and North of England (Saturday to Sunday) — Kemsley Newspapers & Maurice Winnick Group, when the backers fall out, ITA withdraws the contract, re-advertises it and later awards it to the Associated British Picture Corporation who operates as ABC Television.
  • North of England (Monday to Friday) — Granada Theatres, later to operate as Granada TV Network Ltd
Next 1955, January 18th: ITA approves the setting up of a news company owned and operated by the ITV companies. This is entitled Independent Television News (ITN).
Next 1955, May 4th: ITN Ltd is incorporated.
Next 1955, September 22nd: ITV service opens only in London, from the ITA transmitter covering nearly twelve million people in London and the Home Counties.
Next 1956, May 30th: ITA announces the award of the Central Scotland contract to Scottish Television (STV) from three applications.
Next 1956, October 26th: ITA announces the award of the South Wales and the West of England contract to Independent Television for South Wales and West of England, later to operate as TWW, from ten applications.
Next 1957, July 22nd: ITA announces the award of the South of England contract to the Rank Organisation / Amalgamated Press / Associated Newspaper Group, later to operate as Southern Television, from thirteen applications.
Next 1957, December 13th: ITA announces the award of the North East England contract to the News Chronicle / Sydney Box / George and Alfred Black Group, later to operate as Tyne Tees Television, from eleven applications.
Next 1958, June 25th: ITA announces the award of the East of England contract to the Manchester Guardian / Romulus Films / Wyndham Theatres Group, later to operate as Anglia Television, from eight applications.
Next 1958, November 10th: ITA announces the award of the Northern Ireland contract from four applications to Ulster Television.
Next 1959, December 16th: ITA announces the award of the South West of England contract to Westward Television from fifteen applications.
Next 1960, March 28th: ITA announces the award of the Channel Islands contract to Channel Island Communications (Television) Ltd, later to operate as Channel Television, from two applications.
Next 1960, May 5th: ITA announces the award of the Borders and Isle of Man contract to Border Television, from two applications.
Next 1960, August 2nd: ITA announces the award of the North East Scotland contract to North of Scotland Television, later to operate as Grampian Television, from seven applications.
Next 1961, June 6th: ITA announces the award of the West and North Wales contract to the Wales Television Association, Teledu Cymru, later to operate as Wales (West and North) Television (WWN), from four applications.
Next 1962, September 14th: With WWN going on air, the ITV system is complete.
Next 1963, September 16th: ITA invites new applications for the franchises to run from July 1964 for a period of three years, or until the arrival of ITV2, whichever comes sooner. All the present ITV companies apply plus eight new groups. Ulster, Grampian and Border Television are unopposed (meaning no applications from other groups for the region were made).
Next 1964, January 26th: WWN closes because of financial difficulties and is taken over by TWW, and as such the two Welsh areas are combined. ITA announces that all fourteen companies have had their contracts renewed to 1967.
Next 1966, January 27th: The ITA extends ITV contracts to July 1968.
Next 1966, December 21st: ITA announces the intention to appoint five major programme contractors (those companies who provide the network with the bulk of the programming) instead of four at the next franchise round, with seven day companies everywhere except London, as well as separate ITV services for Lancashire and Yorkshire to the replace the vast North of England region.
Next 1967, February 28th: ITA invites applications for the fifteen new ITV contracts to run from 1968 to 1974. There are thirty six applications.
Next 1967, June 11th: ITA awards re-newed contracts to Anglia, Border, Channel, Grampian, Scottish, Southern, Tyne Tees, Ulster & Westward. Harlech Television (later to operate as HTV) replaces TWW. The new Yorkshire area is awarded to Yorkshire Television, part of the Trident Group, the new Lancashire area is given to Granada, the new seven day Midlands service to ATV and the new London weekend only service to London Weekend Television (LWT). For the new London weekday only contract, the ITA asks ABC to merge with Rediffusion to form Thames Television.
Next 1972, July 12th: The ITA is given the role of setting up Independent Local Radio (ILR) by the Sound Broadcasting Act 1972, and becomes a more far reaching body in the IBA, Independent Broadcasting Authority.
Next 1974, March 12th: The IBA extends ITV contracts to 1976.
Next 1974, July 31st: Independent Broadcasting Authority (No 2) Act 1974 enables the IBA to extend contracts to 31 July 1979.
Next 1978, July 31st: Independent Broadcasting Authority Act 1978 enables the IBA to extend the contracts until 31 December 1981.
Next 1980, January 24th: The IBA advertises new ITV contracts for 1982 to 1989, including a new breakfast time service and a dual East and West Midlands region.
Next 1980, May 9th: IBA receives forty-three applications including eight for the breakfast time service.
Next 1980, November 13th: The IBA is given the job of setting up the fourth channel in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The task in Wales is given to a new Welsh fourth channel authority.
Next 1980, December 28th: The IBA awards new ITV contracts to Anglia, Border, Channel, Grampian, Granada, HTV, LWT, Scottish, Thames, Tyne Tees, Ulster and Yorkshire Television. It replaces Southern with Television South (TVS) and requires ATV to take on a full commitment to the Midlands dual area, to be restructured as Central Independent Television. The breakfast time contract is awarded to TV-AM.
Next 1982, November 1st: S4C, the Welsh fourth channel, goes on air, with programmes provided by BBC Wales, HTV and independent producers.
Next 1982, November 2nd: Channel 4 begins transmission provided by the Channel Four Television Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the IBA.
Next 1983, February 1st: TV-AM begins broadcasting.
Next 1987, April 9th: The Broadcasting Act 1987 enables the IBA to extend the ITV contracts to 31 December 1992.
Next 1991, January 1st: Under the Broadcasting Act 1990, the Independent Television Commission (ITC) replaces the IBA and Cable Authority as the body responsible for the regulating non BBC services including the now officially re-named (although only taken by one region) Channel 3 ITV and Channel 4, the proposed Channel 5, cable and satellite.
Next 1991, February 15th: ITC advertises the sixteen Channel 3 ITV licences (fifteen regional plus one national breakfast time licence) to be awarded by the process of competitive tender (this means that the applications have to bear a quality threshold and an amount of money payable to the treasury in support of the bid).
Next 1991, May 15th: ITC receives forty applications including three for the national breakfast time licence.
Next 1991-1992: The ITC renews the contracts to all regions except the following: Thames Television is replaced by Carlton Communications, broadcasting as Carlton Television, Television South West is replaced by Westcountry Television, Television South is replaced by Meridian Television, and TV-AM is replaced by Sunrise Television, who later are threatened by court action by Sky and change their name to Good Morning Television (GMTV).
Next 1993, January 1st: Carlton Television, Westcountry Television, Meridian Television and GMTV start broadcasting on ten year contracts.
Next 1993-1995: After a successful re-advertising for the tender of Channel Five, the contract is awarded to the Pearson Group, as figurehead, who will broadcast as Channel Five.
Next 1997, March 29th: Channel Five, after a number of enforced delays, finally became the last terrestrial channel.
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