From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the ITV network across the United Kingdom. For the television channel operating in England, Wales, southern Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, see ITV (TV channel). For the channel’s owner, see ITV plc.
ITV logo 2013.svg
Launched 22 September 1955; 61 years ago
Owned by ITV Network Limited
(JV owned by ITV plc and STV Group plc)
Audience share ITV Network:
2.67% (HD) (November 2015, BARB)
Country United Kingdom
Affiliates STV (as non-ITV plc franchise)
ITV is a commercial TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 as Independent Television under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority (ITA, then after the Sound Broadcasting Act 1972, Independent Broadcasting Authority, now Ofcom) to provide competition to the long established BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990 its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, namely BBC 1, BBC 2 and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned as television sets would usually be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, with the other stations being allocated to the number within their name.
ITV is a network of television channels that operate regional television services as well as sharing programmes between each other to be displayed on the entire network. In recent years, several of these companies have merged so currently the fifteen franchises are in the hands of two companies.
The ITV network is to be distinguished from ITV plc, the company that resulted from the merger of Granada plc and Carlton Communications in 2004 and which holds the Channel 3 broadcasting licences in England, Wales, southern Scotland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland. With the exception of Northern Ireland, the ITV brand is the brand used by ITV plc for the Channel 3 service in these areas. In Northern Ireland, ITV plc uses the brand name UTV. STV Group plc, uses the STV brand for its two franchises of central and northern Scotland.