|Type||Region of television network|
First air date
|28 October 2002|
|TV transmitters||Crystal Palace|
|Headquarters||Television Centre, London|
(previously The London Studios, London)
|London and parts of South East England|
|1080i HDTV, downscaled to 16:9 576i for SDTV|
|Replaced||Carlton Television (Monday morning to Friday afternoon)|
London Weekend Television (Friday afternoon to Sunday evening)
ITV London is the on-air brand name used by ITV Broadcasting Limited for two broadcast franchises of ITV, Carlton Television (weekdays) and London Weekend Television (weekends) in the London ITV region. Its terrestrial digital signal is transmitted from Crystal Palace in South London.
As part of a network-wide rebrand, ITV1 London was formed on 28 October 2002, as a unified on-air service provided to viewers for both the Carlton and LWT franchises, running on weekdays and weekends respectively. It replaced the unique branding used by both franchisees with a unified service, offering the same service and news all week round. Legally, both franchises remained separate, but they are run by the same operating board and from the same facilities. Both licences are now held by ITV Broadcasting Ltd, but the original two companies still legally exist as Carlton Television Ltd and London Weekend Television Ltd. Each of these companies is, along with most other regional companies owned by ITV plc, listed on www.companieshouse.gov.uk as a "Dormant company".
ITV London is also unique in that it supplies the network feed for the other franchises and is the sole alternative ITV region to Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media customers. This service, available on channels 973, 977 and 853 respectively, is so that audio description services, which are only carried on the London variant on these services, are readily available to all viewers. Other regional variants are available by manually searching, but London is the only region to be given an exclusive EPG slot.
See also: The London Studios
ITV London is based at The London Studios, on the south bank of the River Thames, the former home of London Weekend franchisee London Weekend Television. The centre was chosen due to both companies presence in the centre; Carlton having leased space within the facility, alongside GMTV, since 1993. The contracted news service London News Network was also based, produced and broadcast from the centre.
The services' on-screen identity has been generic throughout its existence, and has used no on-screen branding to identify it as ITV London, with the exception of one junction after the launch of the 2003 network rebrand. Since launch, the region has seen the plain generic idents seen by the rest of the country, without any regional variance identifying it as London; the other regions at this time received a regional ident with the region name below the ITV1 logo. Any reference to the service being in London is made in the voiceover alone, or through the programme titles, such as London Tonight.
Some identity remained on the regional programming end boards however, as each company still produced programmes for the region: Carlton used a red and orange version of their star idents used prior to 2002 with the caption A Carlton Production, with For London added for regional programming, while LWT used a generic purple caption with their logo added into the background. The LWT logo was also laid out in a purple box clearly at the top, with the caption An LWT Production beneath and the Granada plc logo at the bottom. These endboards lasted until 2 February 2004, when ITV plc was formed and both regional captions were replaced by a generic ITV London logo and An ITV Production caption against a blue squared background. This was replaced in 2006 by a blue caption featuring the new ITV1 logo with the words "a production for" above it. In 2013 it was replaced by a white ITV News caption with the words "©year ITN", to align with ITN's and ITV plc's other national and regional news bulletins.
Today[when?], the only distinction between the two original regions on-screen is that local weather forecasts broadcast from Friday night to Sunday is branded as London Weekend Weather, and is sponsored by a different company to the weekday forecasts.
On 14 January 2013, the station's on-air identity was changed to ITV, along with all other ITV plc-owned franchises.
ITV London itself doesn't make any programmes, as all productions were completed by external companies, Carlton, LWT or London News Network. The News and Sport for the region continued to be provided by LNN until 1 March 2004, when ITN took over production of London Tonight, resulting in the move of the programme from The London Studios to ITN's headquarters at Gray's Inn Road. Other regional programmes continued to be produced for the region by the two legal franchises, Carlton and LWT, and the companies were accredited at the end of the production until 2004, when it was replaced by an ITV London caption for both companies following the ITV plc merger.