ITV network
Channel 3

The three franchise holders' logos
Branding:   ITV1    ITV1 & UTV    STV
CountryUnited Kingdom, Isle of Man & Channel Islands
OwnerITV plc (13 licences)
STV Group (2 licences)
Launched22 September 1955; 68 years ago (1955-09-22)
Former namesIndependent Television (1955–1963)

ITV, legally known as Channel 3, is a British free-to-air public broadcast television network. It is branded as ITV1 in most of the UK except for central and northern Scotland, where it is branded as STV. It was launched in 1955 as Independent Television to provide competition, eliminating what had hitherto been the monopoly of BBC Television (established in 1936).[1] ITV is the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, it has been legally known as Channel 3 to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time: BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4.

ITV was for four decades a network of separate companies that provided regional television services and also shared programmes among themselves to be shown on the entire network. Each franchise was originally owned by a different company. After several mergers, the fifteen regional franchises are now held by two companies: ITV plc, which runs the ITV1 channel and the UTV channel – now branded as ITV1, and STV Group, which runs the STV channel.

The ITV network is a separate entity from ITV plc, the company that resulted from the merger of Granada plc and Carlton Communications in 2004. ITV plc holds the Channel 3 broadcasting licences for every region except for central and northern Scotland, which are held by STV Group.

Today, ITV plc simply commissions the network schedule centrally; programmes are made by its own subsidiary ITV Studios and independent production companies. Regional programming remains in news and some current affairs series.

In Northern Ireland, ITV plc used the brand name UTV as the name of the channel, until the ITV channel was rebranded as ITV1; it is still, however, used for local programming shown there. This was the name used by former owner UTV Media (now known as News Broadcasting). ITV plc bought UTV in 2016.

Although the ITV network's history goes back to 1955, many regional franchisees changed over the years. Some of the most important names in the network's past – notably Thames, ABC and ATV – have no connection with the modern network.


Main article: History of ITV

Granada Studios was built in 1954 to house the broadcaster Granada Television. Granada Television opened in 1956 and is the only franchisee to remain an ITV contractor since the creation of the network. The Granada studios closed in 2013.
The ITV network in 1962, after all regional companies had begun broadcasting

The origins of ITV lie in the passing of the Television Act 1954, designed to break the monopoly on television held by the BBC Television Service.[1] The act created the Independent Television Authority (ITA, then IBA after the Sound Broadcasting Act) to heavily regulate the industry and to award franchises. The first six franchises were awarded in 1954 for London, the Midlands and the North of England, with separate franchises for Weekdays and Weekends.[1] The first ITV service to launch was London's Associated-Rediffusion on 22 September 1955,[2] with the Midlands and North services launching in February 1956 and May 1956 respectively. Following these launches, the ITA awarded more franchises until the whole country was covered by fourteen regional stations, all launched by 1962.

The network has been modified several times through franchise reviews that have taken place in 1963,[3] 1967,[4] 1974,[5] 1980[6][7] and 1991,[8] during which broadcast regions have changed and service operators have been replaced. Only one service operator has ever been declared bankrupt, WWN in 1963,[9] with all other operators leaving the network as a result of a franchise review. Separate weekend franchises were removed in 1968 (with the exception of London)[3] and over the years more services were added; these included a national breakfast franchise from 1983 onward—operating between 6:00 am and 9:25 am—and a teletext service.[6] The Broadcasting Act 1990 changed the nature of ITV; the then regulator the IBA was replaced with a light-touch regulator, the ITC; companies became able to purchase other ITV regional companies[10] and franchises were now being awarded based upon a highest-bidder auction, with few safeguards in place.[8] This heavily criticised part of the review saw four operators replaced, and the operators facing different annual payments to the Treasury: Central Television, for example, paid only £2,000—despite holding a lucrative and large region—because it was unopposed, while Yorkshire Television paid £37.7 million for a region of the same size and status, owing to heavy competition.[8][11]

Following the 1993 changes, ITV as a network began to consolidate with several companies doing so to save money by ceasing the duplication of services present when they were all separate companies. By 2004, the ITV network was owned by five companies, of which two, Carlton and Granada had become major players by owning between them all the franchises in England, Wales, the Scottish borders and the Isle of Man.[12][13][14] That same year, the two merged to form ITV plc[12][13][14] with the only subsequent acquisitions being the takeover of Channel Television, the Channel Islands franchise, in 2011;[15] and UTV, the franchise for Northern Ireland, in 2015.

Organisation (other networks)

The ITV network is not owned or operated by one company, but by a number of licensees, which provide regional services while also broadcasting programmes across the network. Since 2016, the fifteen licences are held by two companies, with the majority held by ITV Broadcasting Limited, part of ITV plc.

The network is regulated by the media regulator Ofcom who is responsible for awarding the broadcast licences. The last major review of the Channel 3 franchises was in 1991, with all operators' licences having been renewed between 1999 and 2002 and again from 2014 without a further contest. While this has been the longest period that the ITV network has gone without a major review of its licence holders, Ofcom announced (following consultation) that it would split the Wales and West licence from 1 January 2014, creating a national licence for Wales and joining the newly separated West region to Westcountry Television, to form a new licence for the enlarged South West of England region.

All companies holding a licence were part of the non-profit body ITV Network Limited, which commissioned and scheduled network programming, with compliance previously handled by ITV plc and Channel Television. However, due to amalgamation of several of these companies since the creation of ITV Network Limited (and given Channel Television is now owned by ITV plc), it has been replaced by an affiliation system.[16] Approved by Ofcom, this results in ITV plc commissioning and funding the network schedule, with STV and UTV paying a fee to broadcast it.[16] All licensees have the right to opt out of network programming (except for the national news bulletins), but, unlike the previous system, will receive no fee refund for doing so. Therefore many do not opt out due to pressures from the parent company or because of limited resources.[16] Prior to the affiliate system being introduced, STV would frequently (and sometimes controversially) opt out of several popular network programmes – such as the original run of the first series of Downton Abbey – citing the need to provide more Scottish content to its viewers.[17]

As a public service broadcaster, the ITV network is obliged to broadcast programming of public importance, including news, current affairs, children's and religious programming as well as party election broadcasts on behalf of the major political parties and political events, such as the Budget. The network also needs to produce accessible output containing subtitles, signing and audio description. In exchange for this programming, the ITV network is available on all platforms free to air and can be found at the top of the EPG of all providers.

Since the launch of the platform in 1998, all of the ITV licensees have received gifted capacity on the digital terrestrial television platform. At present, the companies are able to broadcast additional channels and all choose to broadcast the ITV plc owned ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and ITVBe in their region. UTV and STV (formerly Scottish Television and Grampian Television) previously broadcast their own services – UTV2 in Northern Ireland and S2 in central and northern Scotland – until 2002, when they adopted the ITV plc channels. Despite this, STV was given a broadcasting licence for what would become the STV2 channel in 2013, however this was short-lived and the channel closed in 2018. The broadcasters all make use of the Digital 3&4 multiplex, shared with Channel 4. CITV launched in March 2006 (closed September 2023). ITV Encore launched in June 2014 (closed May 2018) and ITVBe launched in October 2014. ITV Box Office launched in February 2017 (closed January 2020).

On 13 September 2022,[18] ITV confirmed that during the day of Monday 19 September, the day of the state funeral for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, all programming schedules on ITV's digital channels will be scrapped, with the main ITV News coverage being shown live and uninterrupted on every channel.[19][18] This was the first time ITV decided to do this, with the company keeping their digital channels' schedules mostly as advertised in the run up to the funeral (with a few amendments for cancelled sporting events on ITV4) and all royal coverage being on their main channel.[19][20][21][22][23][24]

ITV plc

Main article: ITV plc

The Leeds Studios, used by ITV Yorkshire. Each ITV region originally had its own studios, however the rise of publisher-broadcasters like Carlton Television and the takeover of regions caused several studios to be closed.

ITV plc owns thirteen of the fifteen franchises and broadcasts to England, Wales, southern Scotland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland through its subsidiary company ITV Broadcasting Limited.[15] The company also owns the breakfast television licence,[25] which as of January 2020, broadcasts across the network between 6:00 and 10:00am each morning using the Good Morning Britain (previously Daybreak) and Lorraine names. The company broadcasts a centralised service under the ITV1 brand. In Northern Ireland, ITV used the UTV brand name as the name of the channel until April 2020.

The group also owns ITV Studios, the production arm of the company and formed from an amalgamation of all the production departments of the regional licences they own. The company produces a large proportion of ITV's networked programming (around 47%, but previously as high as 66% according to some reports[26]), with the rest coming primarily from independent suppliers (under the Broadcasting Act 1990, at least 25% of ITV's total output must be from independent companies).[27] ITV plc hopes to increase the amount of in-house programming to as close to the 75% limit as possible.

The group cut the number of regional news programmes offered from 17 in 2007 to 9 by 2009, resulting several regions being merged to form one programme, including the Border and Tyne Tees regions, the Westcountry and West regions and the removal of sub regional programming, with some regions only represented by pre-recorded segments.[28] Sub-regions were restored in 2013.

STV Group

Main article: STV Group

STV Group plc owns two franchises, covering central and northern Scotland, through subsidiary companies STV Central and STV North, broadcasting a central service under the STV brand.

The company had several disputes with ITV plc in the late 2000s and early 2010s over network programming. STV aimed to broadcast more Scottish programmes at peak times and so removed several key ITV plc programmes from their schedule in July 2009 including The Bill, Midsomer Murders and Lewis.[29] Despite STV's explanation of expense, ITV plc were angered by the decision, as a recent schedule change had made The Bill central to their programming, and broadcast the programmes on ITV3 as well to ensure Scottish viewers could see the programmes. On 23 September ITV plc was reported to be in the process of suing STV for £20 million, as ITV felt dropping the shows constituted a breach of network agreements;[30] STV subsequently counter-sued ITV plc for £35 million.

The dispute was ended in 2011 with STV agreeing to pay ITV plc £18 million. The signing of the new affiliation deal has resulted in STV paying a flat fee for all networked programming, and so to drop any programmes is unlikely due to the large costs involved.[31]

Current licensees

On-air branding of the ITV network regions 2013–2022. Since then, ITV has rebranded as ITV1.
The fully ITV-branded franchises since 2014

There are fifteen regional licences, covering fourteen regions (there are separate weekday and weekend licences for the London region), and one national licence for the breakfast service. All licences listed here were renewed until the end of 2024. Licences in England and Wales were held by the individual regional ITV plc owned companies prior to November 2008.[32]

The appointment to provide national news for Channel 3 is also subject to approval by Ofcom. This appointment has been held by ITN since the channel's inception, and has also been approved through the end of 2024.[33]

Regional Channel 3 licences
Licence service area[34] Licence holder[35] Licence held since Parent company Service name On air name
Central Scotland STV Central Limited 31 August 1957 STV Group plc STV Central STV
North of Scotland STV North Limited 30 September 1961 STV North STV
East of England ITV Broadcasting Limited December 2006[Note 1] ITV plc ITV Anglia ITV1
England–Scotland Border November 2008 ITV Border ITV1
East, West and South Midlands[Note 2][Note 3] November 2008 ITV Central ITV1
Wales[Note 4] November 2008 ITV Cymru Wales ITV1 Cymru Wales[Note 5]
North West England[Note 6] and Isle of Man[Note 7] November 2008 ITV Granada ITV1
London (weekdays) November 2008 ITV London (weekdays) ITV1
London (weekends) November 2008 ITV London (weekends) ITV1
South and South East England[Note 3] November 2008 ITV Meridian ITV1
North East England November 2008 ITV Tyne Tees ITV1
South West and West of England[Note 8] November 2008 ITV West Country ITV1
Yorkshire and Lincolnshire November 2008 ITV Yorkshire ITV1
Channel Islands March 2017 ITV Channel TV ITV1[Note 9]
Northern Ireland February 2016 UTV ITV1 (UTV)[Note 10]
National Channel 3 licences
Licence service area Licence holder[35] Licence held since Parent company Service name On air name
National breakfast time[Note 11] ITV Breakfast Limited 1993 ITV plc[Note 12] ITV Breakfast ITV1


See also: List of television programmes broadcast by ITV

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "ITV" TV network – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
ITV share of viewing 1981–2008 Broadcasters' Audience Research Board figures

For over 60 years of ITV, its homegrown programmes have become among the best remembered as well as being extremely successful. Before the 1990s, nearly all of the content for the channel was produced by the fifteen franchise licensees: the regional companies.

However, following legislation in the Broadcasting Act 1990 imposing a 25% quota for commissioning of independent productions,[27] the number of programmes from independent production companies not connected to the traditional ITV network, has increased rapidly. Notable examples include Talkback Thames (one half of which, Thames Television, was itself a former ITV franchisee), producers of The Bill and co-producers of The X Factor, and 2waytraffic, producers of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.

From the late 1990s, ITV's long-standing commitment to strong current affairs and documentary programming began to diminish with the ending of productions such as World in Action (Granada Television), This Week (Rediffusion London/Thames Television), First Tuesday (Yorkshire Television), Network First, Survival (Anglia Television), and Weekend World (LWT) and their replacement with populist shows such as Tonight. News at Ten was also axed in 1999, although it was reinstated in 2001. In December 2009, the final edition of ITV's long-running arts programme, The South Bank Show was broadcast.

ITV's primetime schedules are dominated by its soap operas, such as the flagship Coronation Street and Emmerdale. At the start of the 21st century, Independent Television faced criticism for including a large amount of "reality TV" programmes in the schedule, such as Celebrity Fit Club, Celebrity Wrestling and Celebrity Love Island. In its defence, ITV does continue to show its major strengths in the fields of sports coverage and drama productions, and it continues to schedule national news in primetime.


Main article: ITV Breakfast

Breakfast Television programmes have been broadcast on ITV at breakfast since 1 February 1983. It was initially run by an independent contractor - TV-am, and later GMTV - until GMTV Limited became a wholly owned subsidiary of ITV plc in November 2009.[36]

Historically, ITV aired breakfast programmes from 6am until 9.25am but ITV extended this to 10am on weekdays on 6 January 2020.[37] and now broadcasts two breakfast programmes on weekdays - Good Morning Britain and Lorraine. Good Morning Britain keeps viewers up to date with all the latest news, sports, features and weather, whilst Lorraine predominantly focuses on celebrity interviews, recipes, fashion and showbiz. Until September 2023 the service would show a simulcast of the citv channel but since that services closure has shown a mix of repeated programming whilst the citv service that still exist broadcasts at breakfast time on itv 2. Itv 3 and itv 4 and itv be from 7am show other repeats some of which provide a sign language service within the broadcast as part of its quota and licence requirements.

Daytime programming

ITV's strong daytime line-up helped by programmes such as This Morning, Loose Women, Dickinson's Real Deal and game shows Tipping Point and The Chase are very popular, achieving the highest audience share during the daytime slot.[38]


In recent years the network has tried to use formats that ITV Studios own outright (whether they have originated in the UK with their Lifted Entertainment[39] company or have come from production companies they own abroad), though some popular programme formats like The Masked Singer have still been acquired from other companies abroad. Currently ITV are behind the formats for Dancing on Ice, The Voice UK (the format originally coming from their Dutch production company) and I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, while forthcoming music game show Walk The Line has been co-developed by Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment and ITV.[40][41][42][43]

National and international news

Main article: ITV News

Since the network started, Independent Television News Limited (ITN) has held the contract to produce news for the ITV network, with 30-minute national news bulletins currently broadcast at 1:30 pm, and 10:00 pm, and an hour-long bulletin at 6.30pm. These bulletins were broadcast under the ITN brand from 1955 until 1999, when a new network identity reinforced the ITV brand, resulting in the new bulletins being broadcast under the ITV News brand.[44][45]

ITN has long been respected in the news industry as a source of reliable information and news, and as a result the service has won many awards for their programmes, the latest being in May 2011 when News at Ten was named best news programme by the Royal Television Society and BAFTA.


Main article: ITV Weather

The ITV National Weather forecast was first broadcast in 1989, using data supplied by the Met Office, and was presented by a number of weather forecasters. The forecasts are sponsored with the sponsor's message appearing before and after the forecast. The forecasts are made immediately after the main national news bulletins.

Prior to the creation of the national forecast, each regional company provided its own regional forecast. The regional forecasts today are incorporated into the main regional news bulletins, and in the summer months, includes a pollen count.

Late-night programming

Currently only new episodes of long-form news and current affairs programmes like Exposure,[46] Peston[47] and On Assignment[48] are being scheduled after News at Ten, with the latter title currently only appearing on a month-by-month basis. The channel broadcasts a partnership teleshopping service for a couple of hours after midnight, the time between the news and the shopping is usually kept for re-runs, with ITV repeating its primetime entertainment shows or sports programming from ITV4.[49][50][51][52]

ITV continues with its regularly scheduled programming after the shop service finishes at around 3am with showbiz news bulletin FYI Extra[53] and repeats, many of which have on-screen BSL signing for the deaf community.[54] Replacing the information based ITV Nightscreen slot in 2021 was Unwind With ITV,[55] programming produced in association with the Campaign Against Living Miserably. At around 4am each night this mindfulness programme shows calming shots of natural landscapes and relaxing animations for around an hour,[56][57] with versions of the footage also seen on ITV2, ITV3 and 2, 3 and 4 continue programmes till around 2.30 sometimes using the aforementioned unwind sequences to fill small pieces of time before this. TELESHOPPING on itv be starts at 1am and continues till 7am. There are some occasions when other coverage means this cycle of programmes get misplaced, for example a live event overnight or over Christmas the non sale of slots to TELESHOPPING meaning more repeats, films and long unwind sequences are used instead.Overnight Stv broadcasts an overnight news and information service mixing reports from Stv news and other information both instead of itvs shopping slot and also during the unwind slot. Due to Stv optouts this service can start later than or earlier than itvs shopping service. Stv did used to also the unwind slot but was phased out and replaced with the aforementioned news and information service instead. This overnight programme service is very different to what used to be shown on the network after 24 hour broadcasting this included new entertainment, imports, sports and other information programmes and in some regions a job finder service, however due to the small audience this was phased out and replaced by the service previously described. Before 24 hour tv the services simply closed down and restarted the following morning with breakfast tv and before that other scheduled programmes.

Regional programming

The regional ITV companies are required to provide local news as part of their franchise agreement together with local weather forecasts, with the main local bulletin at 6pm and regional bulletins located after each national news programme. In addition to this, traditionally ITV companies would provide other regional programming based on current affairs, entertainment or drama. However, apart from a monthly political programme, most non-news regional programming in the English regions was dropped by ITV plc in 2009, although it continues in Wales and the Channel Islands, as well as on STV and UTV and ITV Border in Scotland from 2014 to cover mainly Scottish politics whilst ITV Border in England broadcast network programming .[58] On 14 January 2013, ITV plc regional news programmes titles were discontinued in favour of more generic branding under the ITV News title with the region listed as the subheading. However some "heritage" brand names were retained including Calendar, Granada Reports and Lookaround. On 28 June 2014, ITV News Cymru Wales returned to its historic name of Wales at Six.

Current regional news programmes

ITV News and STV News regions and sub-regions since 2013
  1. Anglia: ITV News Anglia (with East and West variations)
  2. Border: ITV News Lookaround
  3. Central: ITV News Central (with East and West variations)
  4. Channel: ITV News Channel TV
  5. Granada: ITV News Granada Reports
  6. London: ITV News London
  7. Meridian: ITV News Meridian (with South variation and a Thames Valley opt-out and South East variation)
  8. STV Central: STV News (non-ITV plc) (with East and West variations)
  9. STV North: STV News (non-ITV plc) (with a Dundee opt-out)
  10. Tyne Tees: ITV News Tyne Tees
  11. UTV: UTV Live
  12. Wales: ITV News Wales at Six
  13. West Country: ITV News West Country (with East and West variations)
  14. Yorkshire: ITV News Calendar (with East and West variations)

Former programmes


Main article: ITV Sport

Children's programming

Main article: CITV

The network broadcasts children's programming under the CITV (Children's ITV) strand. Children's programming was originally provided during weekday afternoons and weekend mornings, however following the launch of the CITV channel in 2006, all children's programming, with the exception of the weekend ITV Breakfast slot, were relocated from the ITV line-up to the CITV channel in 2007, a move which was challenged by Ofcom in April 2007. In 2023, ITV announced that CITV would cease broadcasting as a linear channel, and would be replaced by ITVX Kids, which launched in July 2023.[69] The CITV channel closed on 1 September 2023, with a dedicated CITV programming block now broadcasting on ITV2 every morning, from 2 September 2023.

Schools programming

Main article: ITV Schools

Schools programming on the network began in 1957 in some regions and expanded as more regions began broadcasting. It was a contractual obligation for some ITV companies to broadcast schools programming, and this was initially broadcast as part of the normal scheduling. The programmes were moved into a segment for broadcast during the day in the 1960s, under the banner Independent Television for Schools and Colleges and from 1987 were broadcast on Channel 4 in the ITV Schools on Channel 4 segment. In 1993, this segment became Channel 4 Schools and later in 2000 4Learning. These strands of programming consisted of schools programming from all the ITV companies or from independent sources. The schools strand itself is now defunct, with no particular branding segment used.

Acquired programming

ITV was originally very reliant on broadcasting American series, with westerns such as Gunsmoke and Rawhide in particular being considerable successes for the network during its earlier years. Action drama The Fugitive and sci-fi anthology The Twilight Zone were also broadcast by various regions in the early 1960s, with Batman and I Dream of Jeannie shown later on in the decade. Due to the varying schedules of many ITV regions, acquired content was not broadcast by some franchises.

By the 1970s, most ITV regions were airing the likes of Hawaii Five-O, Happy Days, and The Brady Bunch. 1972 also saw the beginning of ITV's daytime programmes at lunchtime, a slot that would become associated with the many Australian soap operas that were broadcast in the newly expanded schedule, including The Sullivans and The Young Doctors. By the 1980s, more were added to the schedule, such as Sons and Daughters and A Country Practice.

In primetime by the 1980s, ITV was broadcasting the likes of Hill Street Blues (which ITV began showing just one week after its debut on NBC in the United States) and L.A. Law. It was also early in the decade when Australian evening soap opera Prisoner: Cell Block H was bought by ITV, and was broadcast after News at Ten.

By 1982, Channel 4 had launched, and despite originally being related to ITV, it competed against its parent network to screen popular American programmes such as St. Elsewhere and Cheers, although the latter did receive a single ITV broadcast as part of a night showcasing Channel 4 programmes. Both Hill Street Blues and L.A. Law had moved from ITV to Channel 4 by the end of their runs.

A heavy emphasis on action, fantasy and science fiction series was also placed by ITV during this 1980s, with The A-Team, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and Airwolf being broadcast by the network, as well as the likes of Baywatch and SeaQuest DSV by the 1990s. ITV also picked up a glut of older-skewing CBS dramas through that period, including Murder, She Wrote and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

In February 1989, in tandem with the network launching its national weather forecast, and as part of a new early evening lineup which involved the shortening of Children's ITV, Australian soap Home and Away was acquired by ITV, particularly to compete with the success of rival Australian soap opera Neighbours on BBC One. ITV also broadcast Beverly Hills, 90210 beginning in early 1991, in the same Saturday teatime slot that Baywatch had occupied, although some episodes were broadcast in later time slots. It moved to Sky One beginning with the third season.

ITV reshuffled its daytime schedules in the Autumn of 1993, and just a few months prior, Central began broadcasting the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street. The revamp saw more ITV companies pick it up, with Scottish Television the only region to reject the series outright. Central also broadcast the Australian soap opera Echo Point around the same time, although no other franchises picked it up. ITV also aired a considerable amount of syndicated unscripted US programmes in daytime during the 90s, such as Judge Judy and The Jerry Springer Show.

By 1996, ITV had been quiet with US series in primetime, particularly as Channel 4 and Sky One increased the competition for securing the most popular US dramas and sitcoms. However, that summer, ITV debuted the primetime soap Savannah, in a 9pm Friday slot. It was a considerable success for ITV's standards, and it became the highest rated new American series of that year. Despite this success, ITV moved the show for its second season, no longer networking the series and moving to late night slots.

ITV tried again at broadcasting an American drama series in September 1997, with the ABC legal drama The Practice, which ran in the same slot that Savannah had the year prior. It saw nowhere near the same levels of success, and was dropped by the network after just three episodes. It later resurfaced in late night before moving to BBC One in 2000.

ITV attempted launching a Monday night block for American sitcoms in the post-News at Ten slot in the autumn of 1998, with Veronica's Closet (which ITV beat Channel 4 for the rights to) followed by Dharma & Greg.[70] After this failed to catch much steam, ITV all but pulled out from showing American programmes on the main network by the end of the decade, and it would prove to be the final time ITV aired US comedy on the main network.

ITV made attempts during the mid 2000s to poach proven popular US shows such as the mystery comedy-drama Desperate Housewives and medical drama House from Channel 4 and Five, respectively, but both shows ended up remaining on their incumbent rights holders.[71][72] ITV were reportedly also interested in 2004 about acquiring the Friends spin-off Joey but later denied such interest, and in 2007 were close to picking up Neighbours after the BBC declined to continue broadcasting it, although Five eventually won the rights to both programmes.[73][74][75]

ITV returned to US programming in 2006, acquiring Six Degrees.[76] Initially it had been planned to air in a primetime slot in 2007, but ended up being shown in late nights in 2008. This could be due to the show being cancelled after its first season by original network ABC due to low ratings, despite high expectations and its slot following top-10 hit Grey's Anatomy. It was also around this time that Supernatural and Dexter, which ITV2 & ITV4 aired respectively, were given late night repeats on ITV1.[77][78]

The following year, ITV acquired another US programme, fellow ABC series Pushing Daisies. It debuted in 2008 in a Saturday evening slot and initially did well garnering 5.7 million viewers, although there were fan complaints when ITV chose to skip broadcasting the second episode, blaming football coverage, eventually releasing it on their website.[79][80] The last attempt so far by ITV to broadcast acquired output in primetime was the TV adaption of Lethal Weapon in 2017, where it remained for all three seasons.

Notable programming

Main article: List of television programmes broadcast by ITV

Daytime programming

Primetime programming

Weekend programming

Night-time programming

Teletext provider

The Public Teletext Licence[81] allows the holder to broadcast a text-based information service around the clock on Channel 3 (as well as Channel 4 and S4C) frequencies. Teletext on ITV was provided by ORACLE from 1974 until 1993 and from 1993 to 2010 by Teletext Ltd., whose news, sport and TV listings pages rivalled the BBC's offering, Ceefax on terrestrial and BBC Red Button on digital. Teletext Ltd. also provided digital teletext for the Channel 3 services, as well as the text output for both Channel 4 and S4C under the same licence and Channel 5. However, the licence was revoked by Ofcom on 29 January 2010 for failing to provide news and local non-news information on ITV and there is currently no teletext licence holder for ITV.[82]

Availability outside the UK

ITV (as UTV) is widely available in Ireland, where it is received directly in areas bordering Northern Ireland, or in coastal areas from Wales (as ITV Cymru Wales). Until 2015, it was also carried on cable, when it was replaced by UTV Ireland, which was itself replaced by be3, now Virgin Media Three. ITV programming is also available to Irish viewers on Virgin Media One (including soap operas Emmerdale and Coronation Street). ITV is also available on cable and IPTV in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Since 27 March 2013, it has been offered by the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) to members of HM Forces and their families around the world, replacing the BFBS3 TV channel, which already carried a selection of ITV programmes.[83]


Since the launch of ITV, there have been concerns from politicians and the press that ITV faced a conflict concerning programme audiences and advertisers. As advertisers are reluctant to buy advertising space around low viewing programmes, there is a pressure on ITV to broadcast more popular programmes in peak times. This became more profound in the early 21st century, following a relaxation in regulation and significantly more competition in the advertising market following the huge increase in commercial channels. In the 2000s, programmes from the reality television genre including the celebrity and talent show subgenres became a dominant presence on the channel. This led to accusations of ITV 'dumbing down' their programmes and appealing to the 'lowest common denominator', accusations that are at odds with the network's status as a public service broadcaster.[84][85] ITV was/is also heavily criticised for scaling back its regional programmes, including regional news.

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2017 Diversity in Media Awards Broadcaster of the Year ITV Nominated

Visual identity

Further information: ITV1 § Branding, and History of ITV television idents

ITV logos shared between the network companies before the establishment of a single ITV1 channel in England, Wales and Southern Scotland in 2002

There has never been an identity for ITV as a whole that was adopted uniformly by all broadcasters within the ITV network. Before 1989, each regional company used its own name for identification and the name "ITV" was rarely seen on screen, except for some sub-brands such as ITV Schools or ITV Sport. In September 1989, a national ITV corporate identity was established, which saw regional brands combined with the national ITV brand, although the balance between regional and national brands varied from company to company, and some companies never used the ITV brand at all. It was not until October 2002 that national ITV-branded continuity was adopted across all the regions in England (see ITV1), although regional continuity before local programmes continued until November 2006.

See also


  1. ^ "Anglia Television Limited", which had provided the service since 1959, had its name changed to "ITV Broadcasting Limited" on 29 December 2006.
  2. ^ Up to 1968, the service for the Midlands region was provided by ATV for Monday to Friday and by ABC Weekend for weekends.
  3. ^ a b The Oxford area was transferred from the Central to the Meridian licence on 1 January 2014
  4. ^ Wales and West of England until 31 December 2013
  5. ^ Usually just ITV1.
  6. ^ Up to 1968, the service for a single Northern area consisting of both the current North West region and most of the current Yorkshire region was provided by Granada Television for Monday to Friday and by ABC Weekend for weekends.
  7. ^ Coverage was transferred from ITV Border and Tyne Tees to ITV Granada following DSO in the Isle of Man in July 2009.
  8. ^ South West of England only until 31 December 2013
  9. ^ Since 2013 all presentation has only carried the ITV/ITV1 name, however the name ITV Channel Television was previously used on-screen.
  10. ^ Despite UTV permanently adopting ITV/ITV1 continuity in November 2020, the UTV brand is still used for local programming.
  11. ^ The current breakfast holder, ITV Breakfast Ltd, is a rebrand of GMTV, which took over from the previous incumbent, TV-am in 1993.
  12. ^ ITV plc purchased the remaining stake of GMTV (now ITV Breakfast) from The Walt Disney Company in November 2009.


  1. ^ a b c "Commercial Television: A Guide to the constitution and working of the new service". The Times. 19 August 1955. Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  2. ^ "1955: New TV channel ends BBC monopoly". BBC News. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b "No New Independent Tv Companies Appointed". The Times. 9 January 1964. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  4. ^ "BIG five' pattern for Independent TV". The Times. 22 December 1966. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  5. ^ "Discussions start on TV contract extensions". The Times. 11 October 1974. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  6. ^ a b Gosling, Kenneth (25 January 1980). "Breakfast-time television and dual regions for Midlands and the South planned by IBA". The Times. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  7. ^ Gosling, Kenneth (29 December 1980). "Southern and Westward TV lose franchises and others to be restructured". The Times. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Rescue Operation' For Tv Company". The Times. 24 September 1963. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  9. ^ Frean, Alexandra (25 November 1993). "ITV rule changes herald takeovers". The Times. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  10. ^ ITC, quoted in Encouraging Bidding In The Single Licence National Lottery Framework report, UK National Lottery Commission, 19 November 2004
  11. ^ a b "History". ITV plc. Archived from the original on 19 March 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  12. ^ a b Madslein, Jorn (2 February 2004). "ITV: A third force in broadcasting". BBC News. Archived from the original on 6 February 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  13. ^ a b Tryhorn, Chris (2 February 2004). "Finally, ITV plc is born". Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 4 February 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  14. ^ a b Mark Sweney, Tara Conlan (18 October 2011). "ITV plc buys Channel Television". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  15. ^ a b c McIvor, Jamie (5 March 2012). "Broadcaster STV reaches new deal with ITV". BBC News. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  16. ^ McIvor, Jamie (25 August 2011). "STV counts cost of ITV peace deal". BBC News. Archived from the original on 25 November 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  17. ^ a b "ITV confirms its plans for coverage of the state funeral for Her Majesty the Queen". Archived from the original on 24 September 2022. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  18. ^ a b "Itv Confirms Plans for the Queen's Funeral". 13 September 2022. Archived from the original on 13 September 2022. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  19. ^ "On hold: How the Queen's death affects TV platforms". 12 September 2022. Archived from the original on 13 September 2022. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  20. ^ "UK channels suspend broadcasts following Queen's death". 8 September 2022. Archived from the original on 8 September 2022. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  21. ^ "Itv Schedule: Tuesday 13 September 2022". 13 September 2022. Archived from the original on 13 September 2022. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  22. ^ "Itv Schedule Changes: Tuesday 13 September 2022". 12 September 2022. Archived from the original on 13 September 2022. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  23. ^ "Itv Schedule Changes: Wednesday 14 September 2022". 13 September 2022. Archived from the original on 13 September 2022. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  24. ^ Robinson, James (26 November 2009). "ITV takes full control of breakfast TV broadcaster GMTV". Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 10 April 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  25. ^ "Lygo quits Channel 4". C21 Media. 30 April 2010. Archived from the original on 25 October 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  26. ^ a b Evans, Richard (20 June 1990). "Dispute over ITV and BBC quotas". Times. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  27. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (12 September 2007). "Unions slam ITV regional cuts". London: MediaGuardian. Archived from the original on 22 December 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  28. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (21 July 2009), "The Bill to be shown on ITV3 so Scottish viewers don't miss out", The Guardian, London, archived from the original on 22 December 2013, retrieved 2 November 2010
  29. ^ "ITV launches £38m STV legal claim". BBC News. 22 September 2009. Archived from the original on 15 October 2022. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  30. ^ McCulloch, Scott (5 March 2012). "STV agrees new Channel 3 licensing deal with ITV". Business7. Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  31. ^ "Television Broadcast Licensing Update November 2008". Ofcom. November 2008. Archived from the original on 31 July 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  32. ^ "Appointed news provider for Channel 3". Office of Communications. 1 May 2019. Archived from the original on 12 August 2021. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  33. ^ "Channel 3 (ITV & STV)" Archived 11 May 2019 at the Wayback Machine, Ofcom, accessed 11 May 2019
  34. ^ a b "Channel 3 (ITV)". Ofcom. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  35. ^ Robinson, James (26 November 2009). "ITV takes full control of breakfast TV broadcaster GMTV". Guardian. Archived from the original on 10 April 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  36. ^ "ITV removes historic quirk in major schedule overhaul". RXTV Log. 12 November 2019. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  37. ^ Brown, Maggie (25 January 2013). "BBC1 daytime revamp hits BBC2 and Channel 4 ratings". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  38. ^ "Programmes - Lifted Entertainment, Part of ITV Studios". Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  39. ^ "Lifted Entertainment, Part of ITV Studios". Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  40. ^ "Gary Barlow replacing Simon Cowell on panel for upcoming music show Walk The Line". Sky News. 1 November 2021. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  41. ^ "Simon Cowell announces his Walk The Line replacement". RTE. 1 November 2021. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  42. ^ Naman Ramachandran (1 November 2021). "Simon Cowell Replaced by Gary Barlow on 'Walk The Line,' ITV Confirms". Variety. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  43. ^ "About ITN". ITN. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  44. ^ "ITV News". ITN. Archived from the original on 11 March 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  45. ^ "Exposure (TV Series)". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  46. ^ "Peston Season 2021". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  47. ^ "On Assignment - Watch episodes - ITV Hub". Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  48. ^ "British Touring Car Championship Highlights (TV Series)". Radio Times. 25 September 2021. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  49. ^ "TV Guide - Radio Times UK TV Guide & Listings". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  50. ^ "TV Guide - Radio Times UK TV Guide & Listings". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  51. ^ "TV Guide - Radio Times UK TV Guide & Listings". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  52. ^ "FYI Extra (TV Series)". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  53. ^ "Cooking with the Stars Season 1". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  54. ^ "Unwind With ITV - Watch episodes - ITV Hub". Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  55. ^ "Unwind with ITV - ITV launches new nightly mindfulness programme". 11 October 2021. Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  56. ^ "Unwind with ITV (TV Series)". Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  57. ^ Douglas, Torin (25 September 2008). "Analysis: Ofcom's regional news proposals". BBC News. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  58. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (30 March 2007). "ITV to pay £275m for FA Cup". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 February 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  59. ^ Gibson, Owen (17 July 2013). "BBC and BT Sport to share FA Cup TV rights". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 23 May 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  60. ^ "ITV announce Horse Racing Deal". ITV Press Centre. ITV. Archived from the original on 30 October 2022. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  61. ^ "Hatton, Calzaghe and Khan on ITV". BBC News. 1 July 2005. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2007.
  62. ^ "ITV to show Eubank Jnr World Title fight". ITV. 13 December 2016. Archived from the original on 16 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  63. ^ "ITV Box Office Closure notice". Archived from the original on 4 November 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  64. ^ "ITV Darts 2015". Sport on the Box. 15 November 2014. Archived from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  65. ^ "Rise for the Rugby World Cup on ITV". 15 August 2019. Archived from the original on 15 August 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  66. ^ "BBC and ITV bid wins Six Nations TV rights until 2021". BBC News. 9 July 2015. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  67. ^ "ITV new deal with World Snooker". Sport on the Box. 24 April 2014. Archived from the original on 6 December 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  68. ^ "CITV channel to close as ITVX Kids streaming service launches". BBC News. 22 August 2023.
  69. ^ "'Closet'-ed bidding". Variety. 11 June 1997. Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  70. ^ "Channel 4 ties up TV's Housewives". 25 October 2006. Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  71. ^ Conlan, Tara (5 April 2007). "ITV eyes up Five's House". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  72. ^ Deans, Jason (25 June 2004). "ITV joins Joey bidding war". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  73. ^ "ITV no friend of Joey". C21media. Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  74. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (12 April 2007). "ITV and C5 eye up Neighbours". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  75. ^ "ITV1 returns to US drama imports with Six Degrees". Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  76. ^ Guider, Elizabeth (6 July 2005). "'Supernatural' sked". Variety. Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  77. ^ "US serial killer show Dexter debuts with 1.9m on ITV1". Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  78. ^ "ITV drops 'Pushing Daisies' for football". Digital Spy. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  79. ^ Dowell, Ben (28 May 2008). "Pushing Daisies: ITV website to air 'missing' episode". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 June 2024.
  80. ^ "Public Teletext Licence" (PDF). Ofcom. 17 December 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 September 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  81. ^ "Teletext Revocation Notice" (PDF). Ofcom. 29 January 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  82. ^ BFBS TV IS CHANGING Archived 17 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  83. ^ Murray-Watson, Andrew (10 September 2006). "ITV 'dumbing down' threatens ad revenues". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  84. ^ Sherryl Wilson (2005). "9". In Catherine Johnson and Rob Turnock (ed.). ITV Cultures: Independent Television over Fifty years. Maidenhead: Open University Press. pp. 159–176. ISBN 9780335217298.

Parent companies