Magazine article Marketing

Does Channel Three News Truly Believe It Can Win ITV's Favour?

Magazine article Marketing

Does Channel Three News Truly Believe It Can Win ITV's Favour?

Article excerpt

Why on earth would Granada and Carlton undermine their news asset?

The really good news is that a BSkyB-led consortium has been awarded nominated news provider status by the Independent Television Commission (ITC). This rather arcane title means it has finally got the ITC's stamp of approval as an organisation 'effectively equipped' and 'adequately financed' to provide a high quality national and international news service for ITV.

Here is the 10 o'clock news from Sky -- or Channel Three News, as the organisation is cheekily calling itself.

But the really bad news for Channel Three News, made up of BSkyB, Bloomberg, CBS, Chrysalis and Ulster Television, is it hasn't got a cat-in-hell's chance of prising ITV's contract from ITN. So what on earth is going on here?

The issue has a long history, dating back to the days when the late Richard Dunn, former managing director of Thames Television, was a senior Sky executive. Dunn repeatedly threatened to apply for nominated status, but never found a way of doing so because of the rule that no one company can own more than 20% of the ITV news provider.

The problem now is that the two largest ITV companies, Granada and Carlton, together own 40% of ITN and have a very close working relationship with Reuters, which owns another 20%.

The other two shareholders -- United News and Media and Associated Newspapers -- are probable sellers once the new Communications Bill allows greater consolidation of ownership.

Why on earth would Granada and Carlton, with total control of ITV and effective control of ITN, undermine their news asset by giving a contract to Channel Three News? …

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